The mayor of Pattaya has called on all of his department heads to work together, around the clock, to prevent and alleviate the flooding problems that continue to plague the city.
In a meeting with all relevant offices on September 3, Sonthaya Kunplome said Pattaya still suffers from devastating flooding, often because the many drainage improvement projects have not been completed.
Engineering chief Anuwat Laothongkum, director of the Sanitary Engineering Bureau, agreed that many drainage pipes under the city are too small to accommodate the water flowing from the heights to the east, but said that negligent development has also contributed to chronic flooding.
In areas such as Soi Nongyai, Sukhumvit Soi 45, Soi Wat Boonsamphan, the parallel road to the railway, Soi Khao Talo and Soi Nong Krabok, natural canals and reservoirs have been paved and real estate developments built on them, leaving no water nowhere to go but in the streets.
The water then collects in the same places, including Sukhumvit Road in South Pattaya, the Mum Aroi intersection on Third Road, the railway line and Beach Road, Anuwat said.
Pattaya uproots old little pipes and replaces them with big pipelines and even pumps on Pattaya Beach, Soi Photisan in Naklua, Sukhumvit Soi 45 and under the railway tracks, but none of these works except the beach of Pattaya, is not finished. In addition, a larger 600 million baht drainage project will not be completed for years.
Sonthaya said everyone was angry and upset by the massive flooding that hit Pattaya on August 27, but the mayor pointed out that it was the heaviest rainfall the city has seen in years.
Nonetheless, it showed that city workers need to do better to prevent, mitigate and clean up after the floods, Sonthaya said.
The city is expected to be zoned with many departments responsible for monitoring weather forecasting and flood preparedness in each area. Equipment such as pumps must be put in place before storms, sewers must be dredged and officers deployed to keep traffic going once the rain begins.
Once the rain stops, city workers must quickly inspect flood-prone areas, determine damage and quickly help residents and business owners with repairs, Sonthaya said.