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Flood management controversy

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Residents living above where the "big-bag barrier" was recently dismantled are cheering, while those below it are protesting.

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Residents below the recently dismantled big-bag barrier are threatening to protest as water increases in their communities. Meanwhile, one police officer has found another use for what is left of the barrier at Kor Por Or intersection on Phahon Yothin Road. Photo by Rattaseema Pongsan

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Anger hits boiling point

Disputes between victims and authorities intensify


Angry protests over prolonged flooding spread throughout greater Bangkok yesterday as authorities tried to keep up with the flood management plan.

The disputes between authorities and flooded residents continued with the latest threat coming from people in the Ram Intra area who threatened to close Ram Intra Road.

They are concerned the dismantling of the flood barrier at Kor Por Or intersection on Phahon Yothin Road will raise the floodwaters around their homes.

National Disaster Warning Centre director Somsak Khaosuwan said officials will need to do more to protect the barriers to ensure the drainage goes as planned.

"Removing the flood walls can't ease the flood situation," Capt Somsak said. "On the contrary, it takes longer to drain the flood because the water spreads.

"If the floodwater is contained, we can deploy water pumps and drain the water more efficiently."

He said that it was vital to make sure flood-affected communities understand the way the water is managed.

His comment came as a community in Pathum Thani's Lam Luk Ka, led by former finance minister Surapong Suebwonglee, is preparing to petition the Flood Relief Operation Command (Froc) to remove the flood barrier on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

Dr Surapong said his community members were working on the petition and that he will present it to the Froc when it is finalised. Dr Surapong's Siwali estate has been under chest-level water for about a month.

The floodwater on Phahon Yothin Road yesterday rose by 22 centimetres from 32cm after the removal of the flood barrier.

However, residents in Sai Mai and Saphan Mai said the water did not increase but the speed of the runoff increased.

On Wednesday former House speaker Arthit Ourairat, also rector of Rangsit University located in the heavily flooded Muang Ake housing estate, suggested blocking Vibhavadi Road and Don Muang tollway.

Dr Arthit yesterday criticised the Froc for its inaction after the floodways were blocked by communities encroaching on them.

"The Froc should have exercised its power and ordered the encroachers to move. They don't seem to know how to do it," he said.

He also said he was not sure if Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi who was sent by the Froc to negotiate with him had the decision-making power.

Residents in Bang Kae, Thawi Watthana and Taling Chan districts block part of the outbound Kanchanaphisek Road, demanding information about flood management plans after flood gates in three small canals on the Thon Buri side were opened to 1m before the agreed time and the water level in their communities rose by another 10-15cm. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Meanwhile, about 100 residents from Bangkok's Thawi Watthana, Taling Chan and Bang Kae districts yesterday closed a section of Kanchanapisek road at Khlong Bang Chuek Nang to demand City Hall clarify its management plan.

They wanted to know what the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) planned to do after it raised sluice gates at Khlong Khun Sri Burirak, Khlong Kwai and Khlong Soi to drain the flood and ease Nonthaburi residents' hardship.

"We are willing to ease the hardship of people in Nonthaburi," said Rueng Muangchum, a resident. "We just want to know what the BMA's drainage plan is, how they will drain the water and how long the flood will stay.

residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
dismantle – to take something apart รื้อ
barrier – a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering สิ่งกีดขวาง
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something  ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
protest – to make a strong complaint or disagreement ประท้วง
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
boiling point – the temperature at which water boils; the point at which extreme anger can turn to action, often violent action จุดเดือด
dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
intensify – to strengthen เข้มข้นขึ้น
prolonged – continuing for a long time ยืดเวลาออกไป
spread –  to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
concerned – worried about something   มีความกังวล
disaster –an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage ภัยพิบัติ ความหายนะ
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
drainage – the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area  การระบายน้ำ
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
on the contrary – opposite; completely different or opposed to something else ในทางตรงกันข้าม
contain – to prevent from spreading; to keep within limits จำกัด,ควบคุมไว้
deploy – to put in place ready for use นำมาใช้
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
efficiently – done in an effective, organised way อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ
vital – extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
petition – to ask someone in authority to do something ยื่นคำร้อง
Flood Relief Operations Centre (Froc) – the government's centre for assisting flood victims ศูนย์ปฎิบัติการช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบอุทกภัย(ศปภ)
remove – to take something away เอาออกจาก
finalise – to complete the last part of a plan, trip, project, etc ทำให้เสร็จสมบูรณ์
(housing) estate – residential estate; an area containing a large number of houses or apartments built close together at the same time บ้านจัดสรร
chest – the upper front part of the body of humans and some animals, between the stomach and the neck, containing the heart and lungs หน้าอก
runoff – rain, water or other liquid that runs off land into streams and rivers น้ำหลาก
House speaker – the person who is in charge of most of the activities of the House of Representatives ประธานสภาผู้แทนราษฎร
rector – the person in charge in some universities, schools, colleges and universities อธิการบดี
suggest – to mention an idea or a plan for somebody else to think about  เสนอ, เสนอแนะ
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
criticise – to say that you disapprove of somebody/something; to say what you do not like or think is wrong about somebody/something วิจารณ์, ติเตียน,จับผิด
inaction – lack of action ความเฉื่อยชา, ความเกียจคร้าน
encroach – to gradually cover or take control of more and more of an area of land บุกรุก, ล่วงล้ำ
exercise – to use your power or rights ใช้อำนาจ
negotiate – to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way เจรจาต่อรอง
outbound – travelling towards a particular point, particularly away from a city ขาออก (opposite of inbound ขาเข้า)
level – the amount of liquid that there is in a container, river, dam, etc., which can be seen by how high the liquid is ระดับ
section – any of the parts into which something is divided ส่วน, ส่วนที่ตัดออก, ส่วนย่อย
demand – to ask for something very firmly เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
clarify – to make clear ทำให้ชัดแจ้ง
sluice gate – a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง
hardship – difficulty ความลำบาก


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