Pattaya Daily News

12 January 2013 :: 10:01:11 am 70275

Phuket Town flooding cures could cost up to B2bn

Huge tunnel systems costing as much as B2 billion are among proposals to solve rainy-season flooding woes in Phuket Town and neighbouring areas.
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PHUKET – January 11,2013; A public meeting held today (January 11) at Prince of Songkhla University listened to proposals put forward by consultants Panya Consultant Co, who were hired by three municipalities – Phuket City, Wichit and Rassada – to research possible solutions.

Chaliaw Munprom, an engineer with Panya, said that the main causes of flooding in Phuket in general are a combination of heavy rain and structures blocking natural drainage.

He also explained that construction on hillsides prevents rainwater from soaking into the ground. It therefore flows into low-lying areas.

“When it rains heavily, water flows down from the hills. This, added to the overflow from Klong Bang Yai [the 17-kilometre-long main drainage channel in Phuket Town] caused flooding in many areas,” Mr Chaliaw said, adding “Klong Bang Yai can handle a volume of only 40 cubic metres a second.”

He said that the consulting team had spent five months researching and collecting information about Phuket’s geography and rainfall, and amount then presented six possible solutions:

Drain floods to Bang Wad reservoir through the old system that drains water from Klong Bang Yai through the Sanpasamit swamp. This would cost B591 million for improvements to the drainage system;
Dredge Klong Bang Yai, at a cost of B866 million;
Divert floods from Klong Bang Yai through a new tunnel under the bypass road. This would cost B2.1 billion to construct;
Divert floods from the klong through a tunnel under Yaowarat Rd to Klong Sansuk, at a cost of B641 million;
Drain water from the klong through a tunnel beneath Rassadanusorn Rd leading to the sea, at a cost of B1.1 billion; or
Drain floods from the klong through a tunnel under Thepkrasatri Rd, emptying into Laem Hin Bay, at a cost of just over B1 billion.
He supported the third proposal. Even though this would be the most expensive by far, it would be less complicated to build and would cause the least disruption because no land would have to be expropriated.

But, he added, “The whole study on drainage tunnel [options] will not be finished until April 25.”

At the end of the meeting, opinions were solicited from members of the public. The most informed comments came Amnaj Tantithamsopon, formerly a geologist with the Department of Mineral Resources.

“The main reason for flooding is blocking structures such as the Outlet Mall and others on the bypass road, which are built in old tin mines, which are [otherwise] good places to contain floods,” Mr Amnaj said.

He said that in the past there were more than 100 tin mines in Phuket but now less than 30 remained that had not been built in.

He expressed concern that the consultants did not appear to have done much research on the island’s geology or the shortcomings of city planning, which had contributed to flooding.

He urged Panya Co to study carefully local ground structures, strata and soil conditions.

“In many parts of Phuket there is quartzite underground, which is very hard to excavate. Also, the team must study soil conditions to understand how much water different places can absorb.

“I also worry about the possibility of [damage to the tunnels from] earthquakes and the effects on the environment during construction.”

He said that although many big cities have drainage tunnel, Phuket is very small and he worried that the cost will not be worthwhile. He suggested that other ways, such as option number 2 – dredging Klong Bang Yai – would be more appropriate.

Credit by : The Phuket news

Category : Thailand News

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