Mae Tang Water Transfer Tunnel Asks to Revoke National Park Status in Building Area

 | Tue 25 Jul 2017 04:22 ICT

CityNews – The Mae Tang – Mae Ngat water transfer tunnel has reached another hurdle in its construction after failing to come to an agreement with authorities about revoking national park status in areas they wish to build in.

The Royal Irrigation Department is in the process of asking the relevant authorities to revoke the national park status of some areas of the Si Lanna National Park so they may continue construction in the area, however an agreement has yet to be reached, causing delays to the construction project.

The 15,000 million baht project began in 2016, and was planned to be finished in 2021. However, many administrative hurdles have delayed construction, along with citizen protest and the death of two geologists surveying the tunnel in March of this year.

In addition to national park status request, the project has raised concerns among locals and authorities regarding the use of explosives in the construction of the project as they have said to been frightening elephants in the camps nearby. However, after tests were carried out it was determined that the explosions created 70 – 80 dB of sound, well under the regulation limit of 115 dB. After the survey was complete, the project received permission to transport and use explosives in construction on June 8.

Once the project is completed, it will increase the quantity of the water in the Mae Kuang Dam to around 160 million cubic meters per year, and increase the water available for consumption and industry from 13.31 million cubic meters to 49.99 million cubic meters.