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Pattaya Daily News

08 March 2013 :: 15:03:54 pm 72756

Residents Riled Over Secretive Laem Chabang project

Protestors in the Laem Chabang industrial area are organizing after learning that engineering plans were secretly completed for a deep-water port expansion. Construction was halted in July, but the project is still being planned behind government doors, they claimed.
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PATTAYA – March 7, 2013 [Pattaya Daily News]; a meeting was held by worried local residents who are protesting the proposed construction of a phase 3, deep water port in Laem Chabang. Residents who will be impacted by the controversial project met at the meeting hall of Tambon Banglamung municipal, Chonburi province.

They gathered to get an update on the stalled project, after they heard reports that the completed engineering plans for construction had been received by the municipal Transportation Committee. Local residents suspect that secret activity is taking place behind closed doors to start building the project. So they joined together to have the meeting about this matter urgently.

Mr. Rangsan Somboon, the chairman of Banglamung fishing community, gave the information relayed by news media about the project. Even though the protests halted construction in mid-2012, the fact is that there are ongoing secretive efforts to keep building the project, he said.

The construction project is worth many million THB in revenue for the community. But the project is one of many industrial projects that lack any decentralizing of the budget to operate efficiently. The Laem Chabag port expansion is only a “mirage” project in terms of benefits to the local community, the protestors said, adding that the project ultimately will have a bad impact.

Unless there are open discussions to correct misunderstandings between both sides, it will have negative effects when the AEC opens up in the next 2 years, despite allowing more freedom of industrial estates to conduct business. The most harmful impact will be to the local fishing industry, because of the decreasing of natural resources.

Mr. Rangsan also revealed that the opening of AEC will create an advantage for the capitalists who invest big money. But the profits made by big companies will not be very useful for local residents when compared to the benefits they will lose, such as fishing areas.

Thai people who love their hometowns should do everything they can to protect their vulnerable natural resources. If the phase 3 port construction is allowed to continue, not only will the Chonburi province get impacted, but also all of the other provinces in the eastern part of Thailand.

The meeting by protestors was also a recruiting effort to attract more supporters. Local residents will form a protest network of 8 provinces to unite against the construction of deep water port Laem Chabang phase 3, to include a future protest that will be held at the entrance to Laem Chabang deep water port.

Reporter : Yanwarrut   Photo : Yanwarrut   Category : Community News

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