Cabinet approves flood relief budget

Cabinet approves flood relief budget

The cabinet has approved a budget of about 2.28 billion baht to repair roads and other infrastructure damaged by two storms last month.

A source said the budget was requested by the Transport Ministry and approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The money will be drawn from the 2019 reserve budget for emergency responses.

It will cover repairing 218 roads and infrastructure facilities in 24 provinces in the North and Northeast damaged by floods triggered by two storms Podul from Aug 28-Sept 1, and Kajiki from Sept 2-4.

Some 1.37 billion baht of that amount will be allocated to the Highways Department to repair a total of 125 structures and facilities.

These include five bridges at a cost of 115 million baht, rebuilding another bridge at a cost of 30 million, and a project to fix and prevent landslides in 55 locations which is expected to cost the state about 462 million baht.

The Rural Roads Department will receive another 908 million baht to repair roads, bridges and related faci­- lities.

This includes resurfacing 60 roads at a cost of 502 million baht; fixing 16 roads and bridges at a cost of 356 billion baht; a 22.3-million-baht water drainage system project, and 27.6 million baht for solving land erosion.

Meanwhile, Royal Irrigation Department chief, Thongplew Kongjun, said water in the Moon River which burst its banks and has severely inundated Ubon Ratchathani for over a month will today recede to its normal level, but people should exercise caution regarding this good news, Council of Engineers Thailand president Suchatvee Suwansawat stressed.

"More accidents tend to occur as floods recede," he said, adding they often result from "ignorance".

Mr Suchatvee on Wednesday encouraged villagers to make safety checks on their houses by looking at the roof and windows, cracks in pipes as well as possible electrical damage.

It is better to cut the power supply as dampness can cause an electrical short circuit, he said.

The Council of Engineers Thailand has also asked engineers from the state and private sectors to volunteer to help flood victims make inspections of their houses.

"We plan to visit the areas [in Ubon Ratchathani] next week between Oct 9 and 12," Mr Suchatvee said.

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