The government has decided not to dig channels into five roads in eastern Bangkok to release northeastern run-off into the sea, but it will cut off a minor road in Pathum Thani to help drain floodwater. However, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration proposes the government bore through the foundations of the Bangkok-Chon Buri Motorway and Bang Na-Trat Highway to enhance flood drainage in the area.
Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat yesterday inspected roads and waterways in eastern Bangkok where engineers proposed draining floodwater through some roads. After the aerial survey, the minister said no roads in eastern Bangkok would be dug but the government would instead dredge canals to help drainage. A group of engineers, led by Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, vice-chairman of Toyota Motor Thailand, proposed digging across Pracha Ruam Jai, Rat Uthit, Suwinthawong, Nimit Mai and Ruam Phatthana roads in eastern Bangkok to release massive overflow threatening Bangkok.
ACM Sukumpol also inspected Bang Na-Trat Highway and the motorway. He confirmed the roads did not obstruct floodwater flows, so the government would have canals in eastern Bangkok dredged instead. Houses that encroached on canals or blocked them would have to be removed, he said. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Friday ordered a dig at Liap Khlong Rangsit Road that runs parallel to Khlong Rangsit canal in Thanyaburi district of Pathum Thani province. The road digging occurred between Khlong 9 and Khlong 10 canals to ease floodwater flows from Khlong Rangsit through Khlong Hok Wa canal, which is above Bangkok's submerged Sai Mai district.
Authorities plan to speed up floodwater drainage from Khlong Hok Wa canal to Khlong Saen Saep canal and then the Bang Pakong River in Chachoengsao into the sea. Ms Yingluck's decision came after she managed to convince residents in Khlong 9 community about the measure, which will flood the community to a certain extent. She thanked people for their cooperation, which she said would help reduce the pressure on sluice gates and dykes in northern Bangkok. Otherwise, Bangkok would face the risk of collapsing dykes and strong floods flowing into its heart. Ms Yingluck admitted it was difficult to drain floodwater from low-lying western Bangkok but she would order the installation of more pumps there to relieve the problem. Ms Yingluck denied that members from her Pheu Thai Party who are linked to the red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship tried to block a plan to drain floodwater to eastern Bangkok, a red-shirt base. She said her government decided to protect the national interest.