BMA eyes fixes as more floods loom
Official says extra water tank may help
If the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) cannot fix the flooding problem in Bangkok then nobody can, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.
His assertion came amid warnings by the Meteorological Department of heavy rain, strong winds and more flooding from Thursday till Monday.
Heavy rain on Wednesday left Bangkok traffic at a standstill, and the prime minister expressed concern about the issue recurring while assuring that government departments were working hard to solve the matter.
However, he acknowledged that the main cause of the problem was overcrowding that obstructs the drainage system in Bangkok.
"Bangkok is overcrowded and that's the problem which everyone needs to help solve. If we cannot fix this, there's no chance we can fix other problems," said Gen Prayut.
Khachit Chatchawanit, permanent secretary for the BMA, said at City Hall on Wednesday the three underground water banks installed in Bangkok are still functioning despite their being blamed for much of the flooding problem plaguing the capital.
"Each water bank has a capacity of 2,000 cubic metres. It cannot be drained right after the tank is full but yesterday ((Tuesday) we managed to discharge the water as soon as the rain had stopped," said Mr Khachit.
He apologised to people in Bangkok affected by the flooding on Wednesday.
He also said he would like to see another water tank installed to prevent city floods. He said he had instructed all district offices to help those suffering flood-related problems.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said affiliates under his ministry are prepared to provide aid in flood-hit areas and they had stored up food, drinking water and emergency flood kits in case of evacuations.
Mr Varawut said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment would dredge more rivers and their distributaries to alleviate flash floods caused by water discharged from the Chao Phraya Dam.
He also addressed concerns by noting the Ministry of Transport and Marine Department are looking into the flood situation and joining forces to solve any problems.