Vol. III No. 25- Saturday June 19 - June 25 2004
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NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Heavily laden truck overturns at Rincome intersection

Storm brings down telephone pole

Lamphun, not Chiang Mai, chosen for mobile Cabinet meeting

Public seminar to discuss high-rise impact

Royal Project moves from the highlands onto the world’s stage

Ivory poachers leave elephants dying

9 million trees to honour HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

Northern provinces please deputy minister

Hotels urged to cooperate in meeting criteria for uniform standards

Rural telephone users can now receive calls by radio waves

Football mania gets under way in Chiang Mai

Luk Thung music contest winners get ready for Bangkok

Stolen vehicle retrieved on its way to Myanmar

Immigration is there to help

Five dozy drug dealers trapped in sting operation

No more drugs through the mail says post office

Promiscuous men spreading HIV

Chiang Mai puts plans forward to cope with flooding

Elderly woman robbed of jewellery in broad daylight

Heavily laden truck overturns at Rincome intersection

Five vehicles damaged and traffic delayed for hours

Saksit Meesubkwang

A truck loaded with sand suffered a brake failure and overturned at the Rincome intersection, causing extensive damage to five vehicles. The ensuing obstruction caused a traffic jam for several hours on Huay Kaew Road.

Police surmise the truck was traveling at 40-60 kph when colliding with the other vehicles. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.

Chiang Mai police said the truck driver, 48-year-old Anant Maneerat of Kanjanaroj Kolkarn Company, was driving the truck from Kuang Sing intersection to unload sand for construction projects for the Suthep Tambon Administration.

He approached the Rincome intersection but could not pull up in time. The truck then crashed into the car in front of it.

Attempting to avoid the car, the driver lost control of the truck, which then overturned and hit a further two sedan cars and two pickups that were parked on the left.


Storm brings down telephone pole

And a passing pick-up!

Jiraphat Warasin and Autsadaporn Kamthai

During this week’s rains and windstorms, an old telephone pole was brought down.

Unfortunately, the pole, on Muen Dam Pra Kod Road in Chiang Mai, fell over as Bandit Chitchamnong was driving past in his pick-up. The vehicle was extensively damaged, but the driver escaped injury.

A TT&T company spokesperson said the pole was blown over by the strong gusty winds because it was very old and in a deteriorated condition.

Bandit Chitchamnong was obviously having a bad day, and by pure luck ended up with extensive damage to his pickup. However, dangling telephone lines wasn’t enough to stop the motorcycle traffic, just slow it down a little.

TT&T workers took about an hour to remove the pole and install a new one, but telephone connections in the area were not disrupted.


Lamphun, not Chiang Mai, chosen for mobile Cabinet meeting

Perhaps their roads are better?

Nopniwat Krailerg

The mobile cabinet is heading north, but has chosen to meet in Lamphun instead of Chiang Mai. Governor Suwat Tantipat had previously announced that the Cabinet will meet from June 28-30, and it was presumed that this would be in Chiang Mai, as was the postponed meeting.

On the Cabinet’s agenda during its sojourn in the north will be drugs and mafia, tourism, city and urban planning, as well as the environment and preservation of nature campaigns.

Loy Luenboonak, deputy secretary-general to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and his delegation has travelled to check on the readiness of the venue. The Sala Prachakhom meeting hall at Lamphun City Hall and Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai Temple have been chosen for the meeting.

Lamphun province governor, Thawatchai Satiennam has been busy preparing for the mobile Cabinet meeting. He is expected to raise the issues of water distribution and allocation from Mae Ngad-Mae Lao River, water basin development and management, cattle farming under the concept “One District One Farm” and other related matters.

For Chiang Mai province, issues to be discussed will be in line with the current situation, especially the development plans for an integrated administration strategy, following the government policy on promoting Chiang Mai as the Greater Mekong sub-region hub in Southeast Asia.

PM Thaksin plans to plant Ratchapruek trees along the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Superhighway as part of Chiang Mai City’s “Green and Clean” development project. He will also visit the HIV/AIDS project in the city’s Chiang Dao district.


Public seminar to discuss high-rise impact

Academics cite increased pollution and municipal chaos

Saksit Meesubkwang

The burgeoning high-rise buildings in Chiang Mai is causing rising concern in the city’s academics. This was one feeling from the Social Research Institute (SRI) of Chiang Mai University conference on the many high buildings planned for Chiang Mai.

Dr Duangchan Charoenmuang, a researcher of the Social Research Institute which plans to hold a public meeting on the impact of high-rise buildings on Chiang Mai City.

Associate Professor Pongthep Wiwatsanadech, head of Chiang Mai’s High Building Study, Assoc Prof Walawan Senarat, Assoc Prof Dr Prasak Thawornyuttikarn, Dr Duangchan Charoenmuang and Assoc Prof Lamduan Srisakda and 30 others participated in the conference.

Pongthep said that as a result of the government’s attempt to promote Chiang Mai as a regional hub and gateway to Indochina, a number of Thai and foreign investors were behind the construction of about ten 5 star hotels. “If more high buildings are constructed in the city, there will be many negative consequences such as pollution and traffic jams,” he said.

Academics of the SRI are planning to hold a public seminar entitled “Beautiful Chiang Mai City and the Crisis from High Buildings” on June 25 at B P Chiang Mai Hotel.

Academics, lawyers, local politicians, religion representatives, businessmen, students and residents of municipal areas are invited to attend the seminar to exchange views and express their opinions on the impact of the planned high-rise buildings. The seminar will start at 8 a.m. There will be no charge for participants.


Royal Project moves from the highlands onto the world’s stage

Saksit Meesubkwang

The sustainable development project initiated by HM the King has been teaching the world a welcome lesson.

This was the feeling at a seminar organized by Chiang Mai University and the Office of Highland Agriculture Development of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Royal Project, entitled “Sustainable Highland Development: From the Lessons Learnt in the Royal Project to the World’s Stage”.

His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani (left), chairman of the Royal Project Foundation, presided at the seminar at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai.

His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, chairman of the Royal Project Foundation, presided at the opening of the seminar held at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai. He said that His Majesty the King is pleased to have initiated and financed the Royal Project since 1969 to develop highland agriculture, reduce drug cultivation and conserve watershed forests.

In 1992, the Royal Project name was changed to the Royal Project Foundation following HM the King’s initiative.

The Foundation has been operating for 30 years and has eradicated opium cultivation from the kingdom. It has also helped raise the standard of living of hill tribe farmers, boosting the overall conditions of communities, natural resources and the environment in the highlands.

The achievement of the Foundation has attracted overseas interest from Asia, North America and South America to study and observe its operation in relation to the hill tribes, to hopefully use it as a model in their own countries. Asian countries China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines and Bhutan have shown particular interest in the Foundation’s activities.

The Foundation has assisted Bhutan because of similarities in the topography, lifestyles and poverty levels. Bhutan’s plantation efforts were not as successful as Thailand’s so the Foundation has been offering suggestions and exchanging information with that country.

At the beginning of this year, US Secretary of State Colin Powell observed the operations of the Foundation. He expressed admiration, saying it was the first foundation in the world that stopped people from cultivating opium to grow alternative crops instead.

Academics and specialists from many institutions spoke at the seminar. They included Assoc Prof Somporn Issawalanont from the Agricultural Economics and Resource Department of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Economics; Dr Chipaka Sungkapitak from the Agricultural Economics Department of Chiang Mai University; Chaiyasit Aneksampan, coordinator of the Plantation Project of the Royal Project; Sorasith Saengprasert, adviser to the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB); and Asst Prof Pittaya Suamsiri, Dean of the Agricultural Faculty of CMU.


Ivory poachers leave elephants dying

De-tusked elephants suffer from jumbo infection

Nopniwat Krailerg

Seventeen Thai elephants have been successfully treated for a painful and potentially fatal infection of the empty sockets left when poachers removed their tusks for the ivory, but a further 33 are still suffering.

Chiang Mai University’s dentistry and veterinary medicine faculties are studying the infection, called ‘pulpitis’, as they are concerned about a further reduction in Thailand’s elephant population. One of the main causes of mortality is infection in the deep cavity left after their tusks have been hacked out.

Associate Professor Suvichai Rojanasatien, the dean of the university’s Veterinary Medicine Faculty, Chiang Mai University.

Associate Professor Suvichai Rojanasatien, the dean of the university’s Veterinary Medicine Faculty spoke at a press conference detailing a research project on treatment. This started in 2002 with funding from the National Research Council. Last year research focused on elephant infections and their treatment.

Statistics show that 50 wild elephants in Thailand died between 1992-1998. Of these, 23 were hunted and killed for their ivory, primarily in Nakhon Sawan, Lampang, and Chiang Rai provinces.

According to current research about 33 elephants in the Upper Northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Uttaradit, Mae Hong Son, Sukhothai, Phrae and Tak are suffering from pulpitis.

The professors said they are treated with calcium hydrodcide, and intermediate restorative materials, “as in human treatment”. Chiang Mai University’s dean of veterinary medicine added that the faculty’s mobile unit will provide services and treatment to affected elephants at elephant camps and other places in the next four months.

Other academics involved were Assoc Prof Viratch Patanaporn, the dean of the Faculty of Dentistry; Dr Patavee Kongkhuntien, deputy dean; veterinarian teacher Chatchote Titaram of the Elephant and Wildlife Clinic Department, as the head of the research project; veterinarian Thaweechoke Angkhawanitch, and veterinarians from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, National Elephant Institute in Lampang, and Forestry Industry Organization.


9 million trees to honour HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

Saksit Meesubkwang

To honour HM the King on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2007, Rachapruek trees have been planted at the Huai Tung Tao Reservoir in Chiang Mai’s Mae Rim district. They were planted by the 33rd Military Circle in conjunction with the 16th Conserved Forest Administration and Management Office.

Lt Gen Picharnmeth Muangmanee (right), commander of the 3rd Army Region and Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor (left), jointly press the button at the tree planting ceremony.

Lt Gen Picharnmeth Muangmanee, commander of the Royal Thai 3rd Army Region and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the planting ceremony. Over 500 soldiers, police, government officials, students, merchants and the general public joined in.

Lt Gen Picharnmeth said that the government had instigated the planting of nine million Rachapruek trees countrywide to honour HM the King and follow his initiative and passion for the development and conservation of nature and the environment.

The project also aims to popularise knowledge about the Rachapruek, which is the national tree and flower, and an auspicious tree for Thais. The project encourages citizens to preserve the nature and environment by planting new trees to substitute those destroyed. The Rachapruek flower is yellow in colour that signifies Monday, the day of HM the King’s birthday.

The commander said that the Rachapruek planting would inspire everyone to help meet the target of nine million trees planted before the King’s birthday in 2007.


Northern provinces please deputy minister

Everything going according to plan says governor

Saksit Kittinan Chiang Mai Public Relations Department

The deputy minister of the interior is a satisfied man, as development projects in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son are being carried out according to plan.

On June 11 Deputy Minister Pramual Rujanaseree listened to progress reports on work assigned by PM Thaksin Shinawatra at briefings organized at the Chiang Mai City Hall and listened to problems that the northern authorities have encountered.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat briefed the deputy minister about the progress, particularly the wastewater improvement plan, the landscaping along the Mae Kha canal banks, as well as the dredging of rapids, islets and cataracts to help the water flow into the canal.

Other projects include Lanna sculpture and handicraft works along the Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng Road, as well as the parallel road along the Chiang Mai-Lamphun railway line, which fall under urban and city planning.

The governor also reported that the construction of the center for developing and distributing products of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) is underway. Speaking on the tourism development plan, he said that the provincial authorities have launched the “Green and Clean” city plan to make Chiang Mai more beautiful, in line with celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday in August.

Governor Suwat also explained that the primitive lifestyle in local communities, and their traditions, culture and art would be rediscovered. There would also be improvements to road islets, landscaping, road surfaces and pavements, footpaths and eight main roads in Chiang Mai City.


Hotels urged to cooperate in meeting criteria for uniform standards

Jiraphat Warasin

A seminar was held in Chiang Mai to explain and set uniform standards for hotels throughout Thailand, thereby helping to promote the country as a world class destination.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with the Foundation of Tourism Industry and Service Standards and Personnel Development, Thai Hotels Association (THA) and Thai Tourism Business Association arranged the conference at the Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel. The aim was to motivate improvements in the tourism industry in a systematic way.

Mana Chobtham (center), director of the TAT’s Tourism Product Promotions, accompanied by Thongyu Supawittaya (left), of ATTA, and Sampan Panpat (right), Foundation of Tourism Industry and Service Standards and Personnel Development, at Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel.

The conference tried to reach consensus on hotel standards with reliable criteria for both hoteliers and their guests. Mana Chobtham, director of the TAT’s Tourism Product Promotions, said that the conference should produce standard criteria for all 3,650 hotels in the country with regard to construction, maintenance, facilities and services.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat has also asked the THA in the province to meet every two months.

Sampan Panpat, a committee member of the Foundation, said it had raised the subject of hotel ratings with the TAT 20 years ago because foreign guests often queried the standards of Thai hotels, which have been rated from 1-5 stars. Previously, guests relied on room rates to judge a hotel’s rating which was unreliable.

Thailand has applied overseas rating systems for the past three years, which TAT has been checking. However, not all hotels have cooperated because they do not understand what standards are required and what the benefits are. Some are also not confident their hotels come up to scratch.

During 2003, 110 hotels joined as THA members but only 84 met the standards in the areas of the state of their buildings, maintenance and their personnel’s language skills.

TAT is conferring with the National Economic and Social Development Board to ask for government assistance with supporting funds for hotel improvements, reduction in import tax on imported furniture and technologies for hotels, and to arrange seminars for five star hotels to motivate other hotels to register as members of the association, said Samphan.


Rural telephone users can now receive calls by radio waves

Wireless returns to favour!

Autsadaporn Kamthai and Gerard Krebs

The TOT is responding to government policy that wishes to see the entire population have access to telephone services in every rural region in Thailand.

Wasukri Klapairee, senior executive vice-president of Wireless Division, TOT Corporation announced this at a press conference held at the Sheraton Hotel on June 10. He also introduced the promotion of its new “Wireless Local Loop” (WLL) to the public.

TOT staff introduce their “Wireless Local Loop” to the public at the Sheraton Hotel, Chiang Mai.

TOT boosted its service by introducing the WLL which can serve people in remote or rural areas better than the former system. The WLL was created and developed by Kyocera Corporation, a leading Japanese wireless communication system company. It differs from the previous system in that it can send radio waves from the telephone centre into a 15-kilometre radius. An added advantage is that it is cheaper and quicker to install, has lower maintenance costs and has durable accessories, Wasukri said.

For the new system, telephone users will have to install only a Single Line Subscriber Unit (SLSU) at their own house to convert the radio waves into sound waves. Users will no longer have to install landlines linking the telephone exchange to their houses.

The initial target group for this new system are rural people who have not previously had a telephone service. TOT is encouraging rural people to install its new WLL telephones by offering incentive prizes valued at over 4 million baht for new clients who sign up by October 31. The prizes include an Isuzu D-Max pickup, 60 Honda Wave motorcycles, and 150 gold necklaces. There will be five lucky draws at the TOT’s regional offices in Khon Kaen, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Songkhla and Ayutthaya.

New customers will be charged 90 baht for the monthly service, with the call rate of 1 baht a minute for local calls and 3 baht a minute for long-distance calls. The cost of installation has been reduced from 3,584.50 baht to 2,000 baht to attract new clients.


Football mania gets under way in Chiang Mai

Jiraphat Warasin

EURO 2004 football fever is here, and Chiang Mai has organised several activities to fan the flames until the finals on July 4.

On the 2nd Floor of Central Airport Plaza, Orange Company, Zeazon Mobile Phone, Maxon By Loxlay, Top Games Shop, Don Tree Season Co., Ltd and Forty-Five Organizer & Media Co., Ltd. have combined to set up the “Orange Euro Stadium” to accompany the European football fest.

Football fun and games at Central Airport Plaza, organized by Orange Company in Chiang Mai.

The light-hearted activities are linked to football with games such as the Euro free kick, hot kick, games commentary, and questions and answers, with many prizes to be won. “There will also be live telecasts of the EURO 2004,” said the Orange Company in Chiang Mai.

The activities are aimed particularly at youths to promote the anti-drug campaign and encourage them to spend their leisure time playing sport and games to benefit their health. However, this project is more likely to encourage them to sit in front of TV and computer screens!


Luk Thung music contest winners get ready for Bangkok

Jiraphat Warasin

Siam Yamaha Music Co. hosted the final round in the 4th Luk Thung singing contest, for the northern region at the Central Airport Plaza.

It selected the winning team to represent the North in the annual national contest, when regional winners will vie for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s trophy at the Thailand Cultural Center in Bangkok.

The team from Thungsaliam Shanuphathum School, Sukhothai was the winner and will represent the North at the national contest in Bangkok.

The Luk Thung contest is held to raise awareness of this genre of upcountry music which reflects the Thai national identity and culture, as well as to improve the standards in the musical expression.

Team dancers from Faktha Vitthaya School, Uttaradit, shared the third runner-up prize.

The judging committee came from the Siam Yamaha Music Company. Each participating team consisted of a master of ceremonies, lead vocals, dancers and their band. Eleven teams participated in the final round, with the winner being the team from Thungsaliam Shanuphathum School in Sukhothai province and the first runner-up the team from Janokrong School in Phitsanulok.


Stolen vehicle retrieved on its way to Myanmar

Government officials implicated in scam

A stolen vehicle belonging to Prakit Arunkitchprakul, a resident of Phetchaburi province, was seized by military rangers as the driver was crossing a river in Mai Sai, heading into Myanmar from Thailand.

The 20 strong Pha Muang Task Force outfit from the 3107 Military Ranger Division retrieved the Toyota Sport at Ban Pangha, Tambon Koh Chang, Mae Sai district. Interrogation of its eight occupants revealed that the vehicle was headed for Myanmar to be sold on the black market.

Police investigating the incident have also said that some government officials have been implicated in the heist.


Immigration is there to help

But they need your help to do it

Alastair Connon
National Police Monitoring Committee (KTTR)

Immigration checkpoints around the world can be a daunting experience for all travellers to foreign countries. And we all have a strange feeling of pending doom or feel guilty when we approach passport control.

Head of Chiangmai Immigration Bureau, Pol. Col. Jinabhadra Tansrisakul would like to learn what you have to say about the Immigration Department.

A large part of the responsibilities of all Immigration Bureaux world wide is to protect its citizens and visitors from any potential threat and to stop illegal entry. However, contrary to most ideas, Immigration is there to help and assist.

Chiang Mai Immigration’s commitment to improving services continues, with the request from the head of Chiangmai Immigration Bureau, Pol. Col. Jinabhadra Tansrisakul asking for comments from the general public on his officers.

“The more feedback and comments that we receive the better placed we are to provide a service that the public needs. It is only through their comments and suggestions, good and bad, that can we provide the service the public expects. I am particularly interested to hear comments and I would like members of the public to contact me directly by letter, telephone or email,” said the Superintendent.

Please mark your letter private and confidential and send to:

FAO the Superintendent
Chiangmai Immigration
Mahidol Road
Muang, Chiangmai 50200 or By email to: superintendent @chiangmai-immigration.com
Tel 0 5320 1755 / 0 5320 1756 or Fax 0 5327 7510.


Five dozy drug dealers trapped in sting operation

Thought they were making fun money

Undercover police looking to buy ya ba from five youths were actually part of a sting operation, taking their ya ba tablets and then arresting them.

The officers were from Muang Chiang Mai police station and arrested the foolish five on June 7 confiscating 50 ya ba pills and drug taking equipment.

The suspects confessed that they had bought the drugs from a friend in Phayao province to sell to students around Chiang Mai at 150 baht per tablet.

Those arrested are 26-year-old Sakchai Srima, 25-year-old Ittiphol Chansrinual, 23-year-old Bancha Chermua, 19-year-old Pornchai Apaikawee and a 17-year-old who cannot be named as he is a minor. They all worked at a garage near the Saeng Tawan junction. The suspects were charged with possession of drugs for sale.

In their leisure time, the gang members took drugs themselves and the money they made from selling drugs was spent on going out at night to have fun.

They won’t be having much fun in the Muang Police fun palace while awaiting their court appearance.


No more drugs through the mail says post office

Sniffer dogs with postman’s hats on the job

The Mae Sai post office in Chiang Rai is clamping down on the practice of smuggling drugs through the mail.

Paiboon Sakyaphinant, head of the post office in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, says they have stepped up measures to prevent the practice. Clients who send parcels must pack them at the post office in the presence of post office officials. Senders of parcels that are packed and sealed beforehand will have to produce their ID cards for a record to be kept.

Post office officials have also asked for the cooperation of the local police together with sniffer dogs to help search for drugs hidden in postal items.

In another measure to stop drug smuggling, Mae Sai police will set up checkpoints on the main roads as well as in front of the border pass, to check on both pedestrians and cars crossing the border. They will work in cooperation with soldiers of the Pha Muang Task Force, Border Patrol Police, and Immigration Police.


Promiscuous men spreading HIV

Government turning its back on the problem claims health worker

Saksit Meesubkwang

The AIDS pandemic is not being seriously tackled in Thailand, and foetuses continue to be infected by mothers with HIV/AIDS at an alarming rate, claims Dr Prakong Vithayasai, president of the Kua Darun Children’s Foundation.

She said for the past seven years government agencies had focused on prevention of the fatal disease, but could not continue to do so indefinitely.

Surveys show that many of those infected with HIV are married men who have intercourse with sex workers without using a condom. These men then transmit the disease to their wives.

“It seemed that HIV/AIDS in Thai society could be eradicated, but actually this problem has not been seriously tackled,” Dr Prakong said. In previous years, the government allocated more than 50 million baht per year to support groups working to prevent and control the disease. However, it has subsequently cut the budget allocation. “It is very worrying since the small budget cannot have much effect,” she noted.

She appealed to the government not to ignore prevention and control of the disease, as many of those affected are afraid to admit their positive status. “The government seemed more concerned with its ‘War on Drugs’ campaign, and boosting the economy and investment, than with taking care of the people in the country,” she said.

Dr Prakong and her husband, who is also a doctor, added that they decided to take early retirement from government employ so that they can devote themselves to working in society in a private capacity.

Her Foundation has about 520 affected children and orphans. It needs public donations and help to care for these children.

For further information, contact Dr Prakong Vithayasai of the Kua Darun Children’s Foundation, 181/208 Moo 3, Potaram Rd, Chotananivade Housing Estate, Soi 6, Chang Puek district, Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 Thailand, tel/Fax.66-53-408424, website: www. support-the-Children.org email: [email protected]


Chiang Mai puts plans forward to cope with flooding

Irrigation Office says no danger predicted at present

Nopniwat Krailerg

To solve the problem of flooding, the Irrigation Department is to put forward a proposal to the mobile Cabinet meeting, which will be held in Lamphun June 28-30, for the construction of a reservoir in Mae Taeng.

This proposed reservoir would decrease the volume and velocity of water from the Ping River flowing down into the Chiang Mai municipal areas.

Arjit Supanichwong, head of the Mae Faek-Mae Ngad Water Distribution and Maintenance Project of the 1st Irrigation Office, said Chiang Mai does not expect extensive, heavy rains this year and will not be flooded. He said fears that water will be released if the Mae Ngad Dam overflows are unfounded as it is currently only 40 percent full. Also, the Mae Nguang Reservoir is only 20 percent capacity.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn reported that the Meteorological Department will issue warnings about expected heavy rainfall. The Hydrographic Department will calculate the water volume and direction and the Irrigation Department will alert the local public about floods. In the event of flooding, the Civil Disaster Prevention Division will cooperate with governmental offices to relieve the problem. The Meteorological Department and the Hydrographic Department will report to the Provincial Flood Committee on the flood situation every morning.

The governor of Chiang Mai will be asked to set up a team to be directly responsible for addressing flooding. In the event of the water level in the Mae Taeng Canal rising to dangerous levels, water from it will be released into the Ping River in San Patong district and into the Mae Hia Canal. Currently, Tambon Mae Hia has two reservoirs.

Flooding in the city usually happens on the Huay Kaew Road because the Chang Klan Canal is no longer used. The water on Huay Kaew Road builds up at the Rincome intersection before flowing to Pa Tun and running down into the Ping River. Floodwaters in front of the Chiang Mai Airport pass the Niyom Panich Building and run down to the city’s moat.

Presently, Chiang Mai faces potential flooding of the Mae Taeng and Ping rivers, where there are no reservoirs or dams as water-catchment areas. The Mae Ngad River, on the other hand, runs into the Mae Ngad Dam.


Elderly woman robbed of jewellery in broad daylight

More of a snatch and nabbed, than snatch and grab

Nopniwat Krailerg

An unemployed construction worker snatched a gold necklace and amulet from an old woman, but he did not get far with his booty.

Somsak Nammongkol, 26, a worker from Khon Kaen province, had been a construction worker in Chiang Mai for six months, but found himself unemployed and homeless.

Somsak Nammongkol (left) admitted to stealing a gold necklace and a Buddha amulet from Buakiew Wattanatheebutre (right).

While walking through the Changpuak fresh market on June 7, he noticed 77-year-old Buakiew Wattanatheebutre wearing her necklace and a gold Buddha amulet. He snatched it from her neck and ran off.

Police Lt Col Samphan Sirima of Changpuak police station was alerted and sent Pol Capt Apisek Pisano, the chief of the police patrol, to the scene of the crime to investigate. He spotted the suspect hiding in grass near the market, and Somsak was arrested in connection with the theft, to which he confessed.

He is homeless no longer, now being behind bars.



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