Drought hitting Chai Nat hard
THE director of the 12th Irrigation Office in Chai Nat Suchart Charoensri has asked farmers in its catchment area to skip the regular third round rice farming because there will not be water for them.
Farmers in tambon U-taphao of Manorom district already took the last amount of water left in swamps near them to feed their crops. Some have abandoned several thousand rai of farmland as this year’s drought has started sooner than last year and they are not certain of third round of rice farming since several public swamps and canals have almost dried up.
The above-dam water level in the Chao Phraya Dam in tambon Bang Luang of Sapphaya district is measured at 14.71 meters above MSL (mean sea level), 29 centimeters lower than the 15-meter standard operating level. The water level below the dam is 5.65 meters above MSL, 10.69 meters lower than the banks. Many parts of the below-dam waterways were dried up and people could walk across.
Top: Shrinking pond and parched farmland in Chai Nat. Photo: Matichon.co.th
Sky Lane closed for 7 months
SUVARNABHUMI airport will close its popular bicycle tracks, the Sky Lane, for a seven-month joint renovation project by the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).
They said on Wednesday that the bike lane will be closed from April 11 and should reopen in mid-November with new and better facilities consisting of additional lane, a bike bridge connecting with a long-term parking area of the airport, a first aid station, a rest stop, a bike center with food court and bicycle shops and a track for runners.
First and second insets: Pictures show artist’s impression of some of the new facilities at the Sky Lane. Photos: Airports of Thailand Plc and Siam Commercial Bank
Ganja seized in Khon Kaen
AROUND 2 a.m. on Saturday March 11, highway police with some leads of drug smuggling from Bung Kan province set up a checkpoint in Nam Phong district only to be greeted with a hasty pickup truck that didn’t want to stop.
The pickup truck was found abandoned 10 kilometers away from the checkpoint. Its driver was nowhere to be found, its bed covered by tarpaulin. The commander of the Khon Kaen Highway Police Pol Col Apichart Phochan said 15 plastic bags were found lying under the tarpaulin.
There were 530 bars of compressed marijuana within the bags. The total 530 kilograms ganja has a street value of 7 million baht. The vehicle registration record showed that a 47-year-old Kalasin province man named Thavorn owns the vehicle. He will be called for questioning and charged if found involved.
Third inset: A few ganga sticks from the 530-kilogram haul a few days ago. Photo: Komchadluek.net
Central heads to Phnom Penh
THAI ambassador to Cambodia Nuttavudh Photisaro has revealed through a Khmer Times report on Wednesday that the Central Group, the largest Thai-based retailing company, will soon invest in Cambodia by constructing a large mall.
Phnom Penh’s current shopping malls includes Aeon Mall, which is building another mall in the city, Soriya Mall, City Mall and Parkson.
Mr Nuttavudh said he was proud of his diplomatic mission in Cambodia and added that he had helped encourage many Thai investors to invest in the kingdom. However, the new mall’s location was still unknown and the construction has yet to begin.
Fourth inset: Phnom Penh’s posh Aeon Mall. Photo: Google Map
Emergency decree extended
SINCE the emergency decree was first enacted by the Thaksin Shinawatra government in 2005, the insurgencies have kept every following government extending the decree by three months for the 47th times now.
This time the decree is used in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces with the exception of Pattani’s Mae Lan district. The effective date is from March 20 according to the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 deputy spokesman Col Yuthanam Phetmuang.
He said on Thursday that security officials’ work was quite effective with many militants arrested in the last three months. However, since violence still occurs, the PM and cabinet agreed to continue imposing the decree for another three months.
Below: Tight security in three southernmost provinces. Photo: Isranews.org
By Piboon Awasdaruharote