Sunday, July 8, 2012

What happened to Bangkok's 100km "Smart" flood tunnel?

A 100km (62-mile) SMART-style tunnel linking Ayutthaya and Samut Prakan has been suggested as the latest solution to tackling floods in Bangkok. This was reported in December 2011. Although the 10m high x 24m wide tunnel would cost in the region of 200 billion baht (US$6.5 billion), Thailand’s Underground and Tunnelling Group (TUTG) Chair, Suchatchawi Suwannasawat – who put forward the idea – believes the project “suits Bangkok better than any other alternative.”

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s deputy governor Teerachon Manomaiphibul has supported the mega-tunnel project, and who has urged the government to get behind the project. “The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration can’t do it alone. It needs a huge investment,” said deputy BMA governor Teerachon. “But I agree with the project.”

And this video clip was uploaded in YouTube on October 2011:

Does anyone knows the progress (or lack of it) of these tunnels?  I have been asking people about it and no one seems to know. Puzzling, bizarre, however something for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to look at... URGENTLY. 

Some news about the Government's attempt at flood prevention around Thailand: 

My previous articles and postings about the Thailand flood in 2011. As a relief worker, I had volunteered my services and at that point focused primarily in Bangkok (as I had limited funds). 

My Thoughts of Bangkok & Floods

Photos of Bangkok Canal & Floods, Nov 2011

The flood of politics & ego hampers Thailand's relief work 

Thailand: Fighting Mother Nature (video)

I am naturally concerned about the flood situation in Thailand. Last year it had affected millions, and not just in Thailand but in Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos. I am worried for those who are subjected to poverty, living in rural isolation, working in the poorly-designed slums, the homeless and marginalized. The poor usually do not have the means to fend themselves against a raging flood, much less recover after the flood has subsided. Many were living in partially-submerged homes for months in rural locations. As for Bangkok, it was caught unprepared primarily due to the lack of coordination (i.e. political distrust) and cooperation between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Yingluck's government. 

As some Thais like to point out to me, "Bangkok is Thailand, and Thailand is the World" - I hope this time, for the sake of the people, that Thailand becomes one in tackling the flood concerns. 

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