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Rangsit residents decry lack of assistance

Posted by arnon_k On November - 15 - 2011

PATHUM THANI : Residents of flood-ravaged Muang Ake housing estate in the Rangsit area of Pathum Thani have cried foul over a lack of flood management and assistance from local administration bodies.

The residents have been left without help from local officials since former Pathum Thani governor Phirasak Hinmuangkao was abruptly transferred earlier this month, said Sakchai Thongwatthana, chairman of a group of Muang Ake residents calling itself “Khon Rak Muang Ake Club”.

About 2,000 families living in seven housing projects in the same estate that covers 7.2 sq km have been forced to live with about two metres of foul-smelling and rubbish-strewn floodwaters, he said yesterday.

A large number of residents had not moved out to an evacuation shelter because they were worried about looting, so they had to stay on even though the electricity supply is out, Mr Sakchai said.

Given the size of the area and the average depth of the floodwater, it was estimated that Muang Ake now held about 14.2 million cubic metres and if with a draining capacity of 1 million cu/m of water per day it would take two months for the estate to dry out, he said.

The residents were now relying on very limited boat services provided by the military, whereas the fares of boat services offered by private operators were unreasonably expensive, he said.

The local administration had not made an appearance since the transfer of the former governor, who had been working hard to help the flood victims before his move to an inactive post at the Interior Ministry, while the new governor has not made any of his flood relief plans known to the locals so far, Mr Sakchai said.

The presence of the 27km barrier of so-called “big bags” of sand that is aimed at slowing down the flood flow into Bangkok and protecting the inner city has frustrated the Muang Ake residents.

They blamed the flood barrier for delaying the flow of the floodwaters out of their community, Mr Sakchai said, citing the flood flow data revealed by the Energy for Environment Centre of the Sirindhorn International Environmental Park.

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