Many agencies yesterday vowed to block the construction of Mae Wong Dam as long as its environmental impact assessment (EIA) fails to get the green light.
“The Cabinet has just approved the construction budget, but the project cannot go ahead without an approved EIA,” Damrong Phidej said in his capacity as chief of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.
Last week, the Cabinet approved a budget of more than Bt13 billion for the plan to construct the Mae Wong Dam inside the Mae Wong National Park, which covers some parts of Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet.
The move has enraged many conservationists, because the National Environment Board had not approved the dam’s EIA in 2002.
Rataya Chantien, president of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, said more than 10 conservation groups would meet today to plan their measures in blocking the construction of the Mae Wong Dam.
“We will then give the government all the reasons why the construction of the dam should not go ahead,” Rataya said.
According to conservationists, building the Mae Wong Dam will destroy huge areas of abundant forestland and endanger wildlife species, including peacocks.
Natural Resource and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Chote Trachu said his ministry would meet with the Water and Flood Management Committee on Tuesday to discuss the Mae Wong Dam project further.
“We will proceed in line with legally prescribed procedures, including the EIA,” he said, adding that his ministry would take into account the impact the dam will have on the environment and communities.