Pattaya Daily News

19 May 2014 :: 15:05:44 pm 86170

Dredging of channel to Phuket marinas suspended over environment worries

PHUKET: Dredging of the Sapam Bay channel leading to Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina has been suspended after complaints that it was threatening local prawn farms and the environment in general along the banks of the waterway.
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Although the marinas, local fishermen and other boat people along the channel are in favour of the dredging, – which began in March and will allow all but the largest boats to navigate the channel at low tide – the method being used is controversial.

At a meeting on Thursday (May 15) chaired by Vice-Governor Somkiet Sangkhaosuthirak the prawn farmers association complained that the method used – an auger dredger using an Archimedes screw to lift the mud from the bottom of the channel and then pump it the banks – was a damaging way to perform the dredging.

The Marine Department received a budget of B12 million for dredging the channel, but using a suction dredger to pump the bed material out to sea. The contract is for dredging three kilometres of the channel to a width of 30 metres and a depth of 1.5 metres.

An official from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment proposed that the Marine Department stop using the auger dredger, and come up with a more environmentally-friendly way of doing it. This would then be subject to approvalof an environmental Impact Assessment and a public hearing.

V/Gov Somkiet said “Most of the people in the meeting were not against the dredging but want to change the method used. We agree to postpone the dredging, but it is up to the Marine Department, who will decide.”

View the original story on The Phuket News

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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