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Chiang Mai Villagers Up In Arms Over Irrigation Scheme


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Chiang Mai villagers up in arms over irrigation scheme

By The Nation on Sunday

Published on December 13, 2009

A group of Chiang Mai villagers has voiced opposition to a Bt900-million irrigation project that will flood the properties of 365 households.

Suvit Namthep, a resident of Tambon Mae Soi, in Chom Thong district, said residents of four villages that would be hit by the scheme had never been informed in advance.

However, Suthep Noi-pairoj, chief of the Chiang Mai irrigation office, said the project, which will be funded under the Thai Khemkhaeng economic stimulus programme, was originally requested by people in the areas.

Of the Bt900-million budget, Bt850 million is allocated for construction of 10 floodgates, a concrete dam and related equipment, while the rest will be used for land expropriation.

Villagers opposed to the project said their way of life would be adversely affected by construction of the gates, which will flood large farm areas and households.

Suthep said the floodgates would benefit the majority of people in the areas, as they would allow fishing and other farming activities during the dry season.


-- The Nation 2009/12/13


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