Authorities Yet to Reply to Calls Asking to Halt Water Diversion Tunnel Project in Mae Taeng

 | Fri 8 Jan 2016 07:39 ICT

CityNews – January 7th, at Chiang Mai City Hall’s office building, Satian Jaikham, the president of Natural Resource and Environment Prevention Centre in Mae Taeng’s Kued Chang sub-district and the former head of Kued Chang Subdistrict Administrative Organization, led around 50 local villagers to submit documents to Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart to oppose the construction of the Mae Taeng – Mae Ngad water diversion tunnel project.

water diversion protest

The documents were received by Chiang Mai Vice-Governor Puttipong Sirimart.

According to Satian, The Royal Irrigation Department has planned to construct a water diversion tunnel to divert water from Mae Taeng River to Mae Ngad Dam in order to solve drought problems.

Ten years ago, the Royal Irrigation Department hired a private company to survey the effects of the project and local villagers’ opinions. Yet the project was not approved by local villagers because of unclear project details and a lack of transparency. Despite the fact that the project will start in 2016, local villagers have yet to receive any information about the project.

It was the lack of information and transparency that has led to the submission of the documents requesting that the project be postponed and reviewed.

Last year, they submitted documents to Kued Chang sub-district’s Damrongtham Centre, Mae Teang District’s Damrongtham Centre as well as The National legislative Assembly on December 14.

The Royal Irrigation Department promised back then that they would clarify information within two weeks, but so far they have received no information.

Saian added that the department never listens to the residents, regardless if they will be directly affected by the project or not.