Court orders water projects hearings
- Published: 27/06/2013 at 03:31 PM
- Online news:
The Central Administrative Court on Thursday ordered the government to hold public hearings before it starts on the main parts of the 350-billion-baht water management and flood infrastructure plan.
The court, however, did not order the cancellation of the whole plan as requested in a petition filed by Srisuwan Janya, chairman of the Stop Global Warming Association, and 45 residents of Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya provinces.
Mr Srisuwan's suit asked the court to order the Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC) to cancel all projects until a public hearing is held.
It named Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the WFMC as joint defendants, responsible for the planned spending.
After examining all submitted testimony and reports from both sides, the court ordered the government to conduct public hearings on all nine modules as required by the constitution.
This means that after the completion of the public hearings the construction of all projects under the master plan can go ahead.
The judgement delivered by the court is in line with a suggestion made on Tuesday by Wassana Malithong, an Administrative Court judge who also serves as spokeswoman for one of the plaintiffs.
Speaking before hearing the court's decision, Mr Srisuwan said if the court ruled along the lines suggested by Ms Wassana, the government could proceed with the projects under the master plan after completing environment impact assessment (EIA) and health impact assessment (HIA) reports.
He said the EIA and HIA reports might take about two years to complete.
"The government should not worry about the executive decree on the 350-billion-baht loan for the projects because it commands the majority in the House. If the decree happens to be rejected, the government can still channel money from annual budgets to carry out the projects," Mr Srisuwan said.
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