Prayut irked by Bangkok flooding
published : 25 Mar 2015 at 15:24
The entire drainage system in Bangkok needs to be overhauled, and attitudes to flood prevention reshaped, an obviously annoyed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday after a fierce storm hit the capital on Tuesday and caused major flooding.
City governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra jumped in to defend his administration, saying the downpour was unexpectedly heavy but, even so, the water drained off most roads in an hour or two.
Gen Prayut voiced his frustration at Don Mueang military airport before leading a delegation off to Brunei for a two-day visit.
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He said a seasonal storms warning was issued a week or two ago, but he doubted the responsible agencies had taken much notice of it.
He had ordered the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to find out why the city was so unprepared.
"The BMA has also been asked whether there are problems with the drainage and sewerage system.
"This is a typical way of coping with problems in Thailand. We are always on the defensive, so problems keep coming up," said the prime minister.
Gen Prayut said the entire water drainage system must be overhauled, adding the problem should not be handled in the same way as before.
He said he had ordered Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to look into this matter.
"The Interior Ministry has been told to take care of the flood problem in provinces, and the NCPO and soldiers ordered to be prepared to provide assistance when needed. I don't understand why flooding still occurs," Gen Prayut said.
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand called a press conference at the BMA head office on Wednesday morning to explain the flooding.
MR Sukhumbhand said the streets flooded because the rain was unseasonable and unexpectedly heavy, falling at up 60-70 millimetres per hour.
The BMA could drain the flood from main streets in an hour or two, except for Asok Road where it took three hours. Drainage was slow on Asok because the city kept the water level up in Saen Saep canal to cope with the dry season, when there was normally a shortage, the governor said.
- Bangkok flooding