Thailand plans to spend $4 billion on urgent water projects

Thailand plans to spend $4 billion on urgent water projects
NEWater plant at Changi.

BANGKOK- Thailand's military government plans to spend about 100 billion baht (S$3.97 billion) on urgent water management projects in the fiscal year started Oct. 1, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

The projects are part of a new water management plan and will be financed by the annual budget and other sources, said General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led a bloodless coup in May to end months of political unrest. "Next year, we will look at the whole system but we haven't talked about overall funding yet," Prayuth told reporters.

For now, the government plans to use about 50 billion baht from the annual budget and will ask the finance ministry to seek the rest, he said.

A 350 billion baht scheme initiated by the previous administration and aimed at preventing a repeat of flooding in 2011 was halted by a court and later scrapped by the junta.

A government source told Reuters that a new 10-year water management plan beginning in 2016 and worth 952 billion baht will be proposed to Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya this week for consideration before being passed to the cabinet.

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