1.8 billion Baht "Water Theft" project breaks ground
Not some extravagant marina development in the Persian Gulf but yet another grandiose government building project this time by the Ministry for Tourism and Sport.
The pictured sign appeared along the Irrigation Canal Road, about 5 km from Chiang Mai City Hall, opposite the Green Lake Resort in the last week of November 2009.
As Chiang Mai residents continue to struggle with the problems of filth and stench in the ancient Klong Mae Kha this project with its large ornamental lakes threatens to deprive the Mae Kha of flow and farmers who rely on the Irrigation Canal of water for irrigation.
Some four years ago farmers were protesting that the Royal Flora Ratchapreuk Project with its large ornamental exotic style gardens would deprive them of water for food production. The new evaporation ponds shown in the display hoarding which must draw water from the Irrigation Canal will pose a similar threat.
All along the eastern face of Doi Suthep streams are dammed and water which once flowed to the Mae Kha diluting the pollution from the town is retained in ornamental lakes, while the Mae Kha becomes unfit for most animals which inhabit our streams. Here we have yet one more uninspiring costly project with huge ponds and huge car parks at a huge 1.8 billion baht price tag.
One wonders how many Chiang Mai folk would chose such a project for their city given other pressing needs?