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Dredging project to combat future floods manned by prison inmates

Dredging project to combat future floods manned by prison inmates

PHUKET: A major drain dredging project is underway where selected inmates from Phuket prison will work on alleviating potential future flooding issues in the Phuket Town area.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 12 January 2023, 04:12PM

Phuket City Municipality officials confirmed yesterday (Jan 11) that budget approval of B500,000 had been approved and they are joining forces with Phuket Provincial Prison on a project to dredge a number of drains and sewers in the area. The aim, officials said, is to prevent any future repeat of the damaging floods that were experienced late last year across the entire island after a period of particularly heavy rainfall.

Yesterday’s meeting at Provincial Hall was chaired by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, who was joined by Phuket City Deputy Mayor Supachok Laongpetch, Phuket Deputy Governors Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam and Danai Sunantarod, Phuket Provincial Chief Administration Officer (Palad) Somprat Prapsongkram, Phuket Provincial Prison Commander Krit Na Thipayachan, plus other relevant agency officials.

Mr Supachok recalled how damaging the floods had been during a four-month period from August to November last year, highlighting the detrimental impact to property, business, tourism and the economy in general. The floods were described as the worst to hit Phuket in 30 years.

Flooding in Patong made national headlines, while residents in Phuket Town were issued a flood warning on Oct 19 as the Bang Yai Canal, which runs right through the heart of the Phuket Town, was close to overflowing. There were countless other examples of how the deluge of rain caused major disruption and damage island wide, including a raft of landslides, most notably at Patong Hill Road.

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Focusing specifically on the area of Phuket Town, Mr Supachok further explained how it was important that drains and sewers were cleared appropriately to allow the water flow to pass effectively. He detailed how a build up of mud and garbage had caused numerous blockages and bottlenecks which exacerbated the problem.

The project, therefore, would see selected inmates from Phuket Provincial Prison effectively give back to society by clearing a number of specific areas including:
1. Poonphon Road, a distance of 681 metres
2. Nakhon Road, a distance of 792 metres
3. Chumphon Road, a distance of 802 metres
4. To Sae Road, a distance of 350 metres
5. Soi Sam Kong, distance 680 metres
6. Soi Khao Rang Cemetery, distance 316 metres
7. Wichitsongkram Road, a distance of 2,160 metres
8. Wichitsongkram Road, Soi 1, a distance of 942 metres
9. Soi Ton Pho, distance 1,420 metres
10. Suthat Road, Soi 1, a distance of 144 metres
11. Suthat Road, Soi 2, distance 1,566 metres
12. Soi Rongmai Rianchai, a distance of 400 metres
13. Damrong Road, a distance of 3,274 metres

It was not confirmed whether similar projects would focus on other areas of the island in future, nor whether ths project is part of the B113 million public works projects aimed at preventing and alleviating damage caused by floods that officials annunced on Dec 17.

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Kurt | 14 January 2023 - 09:37:54

Why should I complain about not regular cleaned drains, so clear are to small for more and more concreted Phuket? I don't drive at the well known flooding locations when it rains. You know what, Faccinated, advice Phuket Officials to clean the to small drains before the rain starts, not after. Cleaning now is nice, but by the time rain starts they are blocked again. 

Fascinated | 13 January 2023 - 18:53:35

Ahh- 'Dear Leader' is at it again. Watch him complain when the drains flood next year if they haven't been flushed through! Hardly 'modern slavery'- none of them are compelled to do this and some actually relish the opportunity to get out of prison for the day. 

Kurt | 13 January 2023 - 10:30:43

Actually it is quite unethical and thick skinned to announce , with a governor ceremony, that prisoners are doing publicly a drain cleaning job. All inhabitants/tourist now can watch the labeled exposed inmates, make pictures, etc. A inhumane happening. Even inmates have privacy rights. Question: Who fills the pocket from budgets ment for this cleaning? The inmates? Hahaha.

Kurt | 13 January 2023 - 10:14:08

Use prisoners, clean drains, starting with Governor's ceremony, a shamefull plain modern slavery happening. Phuket Sanitation Dept should have workers serving throughout the year all over drain cleaning. Not just when they overflow, but preventive, although they not understand such. May be some day the Thai light goes on about that to serve Thai brothers & sisters quality life.

JohnC | 13 January 2023 - 09:41:22

I find the use of the word 'dredging' highly amusing. Dredging involves using heavy machinery to do the digging part. Humans hand shovelling muck, garabage and the occasional bodies out of Phuket's canals and sewers can be called many things but not dredging. Inhumane, forced slave labour, violation of human rights. Do these "selected' prisoners  ger a reduced sentence for the...

Kurt | 13 January 2023 - 07:24:29

Yes, the more you concrete Phuket Island, destroy it's ablebility to handle rainfall naturally, the larger the Phuket water/storm drains need to become. Yes, yes, like in Singapore and in Kuala Lumpur. It's not only a trash-, but also a capacity problem. Forget that Thai nonsens 'mud talk'. Hiding reality, the fools.

Galong | 12 January 2023 - 19:22:53

In Sapan Hin just after the flood in Phuket Town the canal (from town) leading out to sea was so full of trash that you could barely see the water!! I'm not really buying the 'mud' story. It was trash that was likely the major contributor.

Kurt | 12 January 2023 - 17:54:17

They really make, as usual, a big deal of it with even a ceremony. OMG, it is a simple job that should be done twice a year, specially, as Thai drop all their waste out of hands in the streets and that goes into the drains. I fail to see why prisoners are manned up for this continues job. Is the sanitation dept not having professional staff? Polluting Thai don't like to do this cleaning work?

maverick | 12 January 2023 - 17:36:22

As they concrete over the island only proper storm drains will handle monsoon downpours - they should look at what Singapore and KL have done to alleviate flash floods

Fascinated | 12 January 2023 - 16:34:39

I can remember way back gangs of them marching down Nanai. A dirty job but better than locked up all day.


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