IEAT placid about Ayutthaya flood threat

Flood barriers surround Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya province.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has no worries about water levels in Ayutthaya province affecting industrial estates in the area, even as heavy rains persist.

Vitoon Uthim, deputy governor of IEAT, said the authority is closely monitoring three strategic industrial estates — Saha Rattana Nakorn, Bangpa-in and Ban Wa (Hi-Tech) — which are located in high-risk areas. The three were inundated for a month during the massive floods in 2011.

“We can rest assured that the water level flowing from the northern region remains at normal levels,” he said.

Three dams affect water levels in the province: Chao Phraya in Sapphaya, Chai Nat; Pa Sak Jolasid in Phatthana Nikhom, Lop Buri; and Rama VI in Tha Rua, Ayutthaya.

“All three dams have drainage rates of around 1,729 cubic metres per second, so the water level is manageable,” Mr Vitoon said.

At Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate, the IEAT has already constructed a mixed earthen dyke that is 7.5 metres high and 7km long and scraped water-distribution canals in the industrial zone.

For the Bangpa-in location, IEAT has installed a mixed earthen dyke that is six metres high and 10km long, while Ban Wa (Hi-Tech) has a ridge that is 5.4 metres high and 11km long.

Moreover, the IEAT is preparing feed pumps, electric generators and diesel engines in three industrial estates to drain floodwater.

Nonetheless, Bodang Takaew, director of the irrigation project in Ayutthaya, said all related government agencies have prepared a complete range of protection measures and water management to cope with future floods.

With heavy rainfall in recent weeks, flooding is expected to hit the central region soon.

“We are confident about handling the flood situation and managing all water flows that impact Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces, where many industrial estates are located,” Mr Bodang said.

After the devastating floods in 2011, the government installed flood protection infrastructure. For example, the east side of the Pa Sak River has the Han Tra and Kamang floodgates, including two flood walls along the west bank of the river between the two floodgates and along the Han Tra canal up until the national road.

The government forecasts that water currents from the northern region will hit the central provinces, Bangkok and surrounding areas in October every year, so the state can handle the flooding and stands firm that there will be no impact on any industrial estate, Mr Bodang said.

With the full range of feed pumps, electric generators and diesel engines, 54 areas in Ayutthaya province are covered.

“We are conducting flood checks, as well as monitoring rainfall and the water level for surrounding rivers,” Mr Bodang said. “We will provide updates to industrial estates’ operators every day.”

He said government agencies expect to receive further information on the heavy rains that are expected to raise water levels.

Flooding from the northern area normally reaches Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces through the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers and flows into the Han Tra and Kamang canals.

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