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Drought puts spotlight on mine pits

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Drought puts spotlight on mine pits | Thaiger

BANGKOK (The Nation): The Town and Country Planning Department is looking into the possibility of using mine pits as supplementary sources of fresh water for Phuket, where current water resources are being depleted, the department head said yesterday. Phuket has more than 100 mine pits capable of supplying about 49.5 million cubic metres of water for consumption each year, said Director General Rajatin Sayamanon. “We are pondering how to make use of those alternative water sources,” he said. The department’s main concern is that the mine pits are owned by several rival business clans, Rajatin said. The department plans to begin a study next year on how to apply land reform laws that would enable Phuket’s alternative water resources to be used, he said. “If we don’t act promptly, the province may run short of fresh water within a century or sooner,” he said. The move to find supplementary water sources in Phuket was raised yesterday at an inter-agency meeting, under the Interior Ministry, on the drought situation. Local Administration Department Director General Apai Jantanachulaka told the meeting that the number of drought-hit provinces on the department’s list has risen to 62 from 53. Interior Minister Purachai Piumsombun yesterday suggested measures for farmers to minimise the impact of droughts, including switches from water-consuming crops to dry-land alternative crops. Job Placement Department Director General Wanchai Padungsupalai said he expected an exodus of villagers from drought-stricken provinces into Bangkok, and his department was considering measures to cope with the labour migration. In a bid to divert the migrants from Bangkok, the department planned to open offices at transit terminals where the laborers could attempt to find jobs in other provinces.

 

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