Rural chiefs assure dolphin safety during bridge work

Rural chiefs assure dolphin safety during bridge work

The Department of Rural Roads (DRR) will launch a campaign to forge a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the preservation of Irrawaddy dolphins, an endangered cetacean living in Songkhla Lake.

The DRR also has a number of other projects that focus on preserving the endangered mammal, according to Weeradej Cheewapattananuwong, the DRR's Chief Engineer on Location and Design.

He said the move was the result of concern over the environmental impact of a proposed 4.8-billion-baht bridge crossing Songkhla Lake.

The committee overseeing the MoU, which consists of environmental and fishery experts, agreed to a joint effort with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Transport Ministry on the preservation of the dolphin.

The next meeting is on Nov 22, and then the related agencies will sign the MoU at the construction site, Mr Weeradej said.

"The DRR is going to consult with experts to introduce measures to limit damage to the endangered dolphin's habitat ahead of the bridge's construction," Mr Weeradej said.

He also told the media that the Department of Fishery would send out "dolphin patrols" once work was underway in order to assess the effect it was having on their population size.

The bridge over Songkhla Lake will span seven kilometres, from Song­khla's Krasae Sin district to Phatthalung's Khao Chaison district.

Construction is expected to start at the end of next year, with the bridge to open in 2026.

Do you like the content of this article?