State agencies seek shore erosion fix
New problems stem from old structures
Environment experts surveying shoreline erosion near the Mrigadayavan Palace in Phetchaburi have attributed the problem to the construction of shoreline stabilisation structures built in the area years ago.
A team led by Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, visited the area in Cha-am district on Tuesday to see firsthand the coastal erosion problem there.
Jatuporn Buruspat, permanent secretary of natural resources and the environment, on Tuesday said these structures include breakwaters, offshore breakwaters, groynes and parts of a seawall.
He told the the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to speed up efforts to find out what can be done to the large and expensive structures causing shoreline erosion.
According to Mr Jatuporn, these structures were also causing erosion in other areas nearby, ruining the magnificent view of the seaside palace. He said the structures create saline water intrusion that affects the palace's structure.
Mr Jatuporn noted the coastal erosion problem concerns several agencies, meaning they will have to work together to address the issue.
He said the national coastal resources administration policy and planning committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, agreed in May that anyone who wants to deal with coastal erosion problems must seek approval from the committee before being given any funding.
"The new requirement will ensure that every project and plan is realistic and they do not overlap with others," Mr Jatuporn said.
Sasin Chalermlarp, president of the environmental group, Sueb Nakhasathien, and a member of the committee, said a lack of effective beach management is a key contributor to the kingdom's coastal erosion problems. He was speaking during the visit to the palace area on Tuesday.
Mr Sasin said previous efforts to deal with erosion problems along the coast from Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district down to Cape Phak Bia in Phetchauburi's Ban Laem district were all to blame for causing adverse effects in other coastal areas.
He said such projects were initiated years ago but never finished, such as the one that was begun two decades ago in front of the Regent Cha-am Hotel that eventually vanished.
Coastal erosion prevention work in Cha-am district was conducted in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Linda in 1997.