The Cabinet, during its meeting on November 15, approved a budget of more than 17.9 billion baht for four major projects to support flood recovery and the rehabilitation of infrastructure that has been damaged by the flooding.
The decision came after a joint meeting of the Flood Recovery and Restoration Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit, and the Flood Recovery and Restoration Committee on Infrastructure, chaired by Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat.
The first project, involving an amount of 489.20 million baht, seeks to restore the runways, the taxiways, and other facilities at Don Mueang Airport. The restoration work, to be carried out by Airports of Thailand Public Company, will be completed within 60 days. The second project, to be carried out by the Department of Highways, seeks to urgently repair 708 highways. This project involves an amount of almost 11.9 billion baht.
The third project, involving a budget of 4.59 billion baht, calls for the rehabilitation of 549 rural roads. It will be carried out by the Department of Rural Roads. The fourth project, which involves 956.29 million baht, seeks to restore 790 flood-hit educational institutions and offices under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
The Cabinet heard a report, submitted by the Ministry of Industry, on the protection and rehabilitation of flood-hit industrial estates, industrial zones, and industrial parks. According to the report, seven industrial estates, industrial zones, and industrial parks in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces have suffered from the flooding since early October 2011. They include Saha Rattana Nakorn, Hi-Tech, Bang Pa-in, Rojana, Factory Land, Nava Nakorn, and Bangkadi. It is expected that flood waters will be drained from all these workplaces during the month of December.
The report also said that the Ministry of Industry had mobilized forces from various agencies to protect eight industrial estates from floods. The eight industrial estates include Bangchan, Lat Krabang, Gemopolis, Bang Phli, Bangpu, Wellgrow, Sinsakorn, and Samut Sakhon. They are now considered safe from inundation.
The Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Public Health are working in an integrated manner to ensure that water drained from various affected industrial estates, industrial zones, and industrial parks will not cause health and environmental hazards.
In the same Cabinet meeting, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives submitted a report on the impact of floods on the country’s agriculture. It said that 11.2 million rai, or about 4.5 million acres, of farmland was likely to be damaged. The Bureau of the Budget has allocated almost 4.4 billion baht for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to assist affected farmers.