Marine Dept seeks B4.7bn budget, studies hub plans

Marine Dept seeks B4.7bn budget, studies hub plans

The Marine Department is seeking a budget of 4.7 billion baht in the next fiscal year, a portion of which will be used to fund a study on the development of a maritime hub, according to its deputy director-general.

Sompong Jirasirilert said of the total, 3.77 billion baht is earmarked for investment schemes and the remaining 963 million baht for fixed expenditure.

The spending plan covers the allocation of 25 million baht to study maritime hub development, which includes the construction of marinas in six provinces along the Andaman coast — in Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun. The planned study is expected to take 540 days to complete.

An environmental impact assessment will be conducted for each marina, which will be designed to accommodate about 30–40 vessels, he said.

He said the marina development project will draw in more tourists and generate income for local communities in those provinces. The scheme is in accordance with the government’s policy to turn the country into a maritime hub for tourism and marine transport, he added.

The 2023 fiscal budget plan also includes a tied-over fund worth 892 million baht, which is earmarked for improvement of 29 piers along the Chao Phraya River and a beach restoration project, among others.

The Marine Department also plans to clear 658,000 tonnes of water hyacinth in the 2023 fiscal year with a budget of 18.8 million baht, Mr Sompong said.

In this fiscal year, the department has removed 563,785 tonnes of water hyacinth, or about 74% of its target of 762,000 tonnes, he said. A budget of 21.7 million baht was set aside for the clearing operation, he added.

It has been assigned by the government panel chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to clear the water weeds in five rivers and canals.

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