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Krabi Coal Power Plant to get more public hearings

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and its consulting company are preparing another set of public hearings about the proposed coal power plant project at Baan Klong Rua Pier after a series of protests against the project from locals and activists.

“After the government suspended the project following the disagreements from locals, who commented that the EHIA (environmental health impact assessment) was not complete, we have reconsidered the information and errors and will submit the project once again”, said Wimonchai Mongkhol, the Head of Project Study, about extending the current Krabi Power Plant with community involvement.

“The charcoal power plant is one of the projects included in the ‘PDP 2010’ to extend electricity productivity from 2012 – 2030 to support the economic development in the southern region of Thailand, which grows at an average of 5-6% per year. The southern region doesn’t have enough electricity supply and still requires power linked from the central region. Increasing the output from the current Krabi plant will ensure the sustainability of the electricity system in the south.”

He mentioned that there will be 3 more EHIAs by EGAT including more public hearings to specify the environment and health impact evaluation in consultation with the community. The first public hearing is being held on January 28 at the Klong Kanan OrBorTor Office from 1 pm – 5 pm and all community sectors relevant to the topic are welcome to join.

“EGAT really needs to continue the project to create a sustainable power supply in the southern region. We have heard the questions “why there must be more power plant in Krabi”, and the answer is that Krabi is the location of the initial power plant because it already has enough space for a new power plant and will not affect people having to move their homes. Also, there is the proper infrastructure and supply system in existence. As far as our plans are concerned, the fuel will remain coal as it is currently.”

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Collecting the daily news around Phuket for many years. One of the island's most accurate and timely news-gatherers.

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News Desk

Bangkok: Invitation accepted – 30 political parties will meet for talks Monday

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thirty Thai political parties have accepted the invitation to meet Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan at tomorrow’s (Monday) meeting hosted by the government. The government promised this ‘getting to know you session’ as part of the roadmap towards the next election, scheduled for February.

Gen Prawit says the meeting scheduled for June 25 will be attended by representatives of at least 30 political parties who have already accepted the invitation. Although attendance at the meeting is not mandatory, he said it would be ideal to have all parties, intending to run in the forthcoming election, take part in the discussions.

In the meantime, Election Commission secretary-general Pol Col Jarungwit Phumma says that conclusions derived from his discussions with Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs Wissanu Krea-ngam regarding problems and obstacles faced by political parties will also be presented at Monday’s meeting.

Meanwhile the Thai PM, speaking from his week of talk in the UK, re-iterated his commitment to a February date for the next election. Read the story HERE.

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Chiang Rai: Rescue operation looking for 11 footballers and a coach trapped in a flooded cave

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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11 teenage footballers, along with their coach, have been stuck in a flooded Chiang Rai cave since last night (Saturday). Rescuers have been trying to get to the team who are trapped in a flooded cave in the region’s Mae Sai district. The cave is located in the Tham Luang-Khunnam Nang Non national park.

The footballers are all from the Tambon Pong Pha and aged between 13-15. They went to the Luang Nang Non cave with their coach coach after finishing weekly training on Saturday afternoon. Thai PBS reports that 11 bicycles and a motorbike were found at the mouth of the cave by park officials at about 7pm on Saturday night.  Some backpacks and soccer shoes were sitting in baskets and attached to the bikes and motorbikes when rescuers arrived.

Park officials then contacted the chairman of the soccer team and asked him to come to the cave to identify the belongings and confirm if they belonged to his team.  He told the park officials that his boys and the coach went into the cave but then weren’t able to get out after water from heavy rains flooded the cave entrance. He said he had sought help from emergency responders from the Mae Sai district.

The rescue team arrived at the cave but weren’t able to get far because they didn’t have the right diving gear to access the flooded cave.

The same team returned this morning (Sunday) with their gear to begin their rescue mission.

UPDATE: Up to 2pm Sunday rescuers have still no located the missing team and their coach.

SOURCE: Thai PBS and Love Mae Sai Facebook page.

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Chiang Mai: European tourist catches Legionnaires’ Disease in hotel

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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A European tourist, his nationality has not been named, has succumbed to the Legionnaire bacteria in a Chiang Mai hotel. A public health official in the northern city admits that the tourist went down with Legionnaires’ Disease after staying in Chiang Mai. He says that foreigners tend not to have resistance to the legionella bacteria that causes the condition.

But added that Thais have a natural resistance to the bacteria (in researching the topic we couldn’t verify any evidence of the health official’s claims.).

Sanook is reporting that Dr Sumeth Onwandee, head of the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention in the northern Thai capital, said that the hotel’s hot water systems including a reservoir for hot water, taps and shower heads were checked. The hotel was not named.

The bacteria propagates in temperatures of 32 to 35 degrees.

Infected people can develop a ‘kind’ of pneumonia. There are thought to be about 8,000 to 18,000 cases in the US each year. The disease was first identified after the 1976 American Legion convention in a hotel in Philadelphia.

Many legionnaires and other people died prompting one of the biggest disease investigations in US history.  There is no vaccine for the disease and prevention depends on good maintenance of water systems.

Dr Sumeth said that most Thais are immune though foreigners are more susceptible.

Sanook did not report on the condition of the tourist who contracted the disease.

SOURCE: Sanook

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