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Democrat candidate in Bangkok election promises to tackle flooding if elected

Tara Abhasakun

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Flooding in Bangkok (November 2021) | Photo courtesy of PR Bangkok

A candidate in Bangkok’s upcoming governor election is saying he will tackle the city’s flooding problem if he is elected. The candidate, Suchatvee Suwansawat, from Thailand’s Democrat Party, said at a campaign event yesterday that electric water pumps must be set up across Bangkok, because dredging and flood control reservoirs are not enough.

Bangkok has had a chronic problem with annual flooding in low-lying areas since it was established and are particularly susceptible to monsoonal rains, made even worse if they coincide with a high tide. The problem is exacerbated by the slow sinking of the capital some 2-3 centimetres each year – such that some 20-30% of the capital will be inundated by 2050 if no long term remedy is put in place.

Suchatvee says he will deal with flooding in steps for the short term, middle term and long turn. In the short term, he will replace manual pumps with automatic ones, with water gates similar to those used in other countries. In the middle term, he will create flood control reservoirs in areas vulnerable to floods. In the long term, Suchatvee says he will implement a plan to deal with the increasing level of saltwater in the Chao Phraya River.

“Residents in Ayutthaya have suffered from flooding for a long time. Bangkok will be inundated in the future if the problem is not solved immediately.”

Another of Suchatvee’s priorities is to make sure all areas of Bangkok have access to tap water, since some districts lack it. He also promised to improve uneven pavements, allocate areas for selling goods, and set up drinking water dispensers on footpaths if he is elected.

Thailand’s Democrat Party is currently embroiled in a massive scandal after at least 18 women accused its former deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi, of sexual assault. Top leaders of the party have now resigned out of “moral conscience”. Bangkok’s governor election is coming up on May 22, and the public has yet to see how successful the party can still be.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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