The signing of the contract for a Thai flood prevention project is likely to be postponed by three months to the end of December amid protests from locals in the affected areas (US$1=W1,087).
A Korean consortium led by state-run K-Water had been selected as preferred bidder, but the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Sunday said the Thai government wants to postpone the signing because a Thai court ordered a hearing for local residents.
The task is to build a water management system along Thailand’s 25 rivers, including the Chao Phraya that bisects Bangkok. The K-Water consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder in two areas, which includes building drainage canals to the east and west of the river as well as a reservoir.
K-Water is asking for W6.07 trillion, and the Thai government originally set September as the time of signing the contract.
But environmental activists and locals filed a lawsuit in May alleging illegalities in the process of designing the project. The hearing will be held in November.