Thailand: Controversial Thai Canal back in spotlight

  • The 120-kilometre Thai Canal project running from Krabi on the Andaman Sea to Trang, stretching to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla on the Gulf of Thailand, recently returned to the limelight after decades of proposals.
  • The National Economic and Social Development Council was ordered by the premier to speed up public hearings and begin a new feasibility study on the scheme.
  • The Thai Canal, or 9A canal route, is one of two development projects the government cites as key to its economic plan for the South.
  • The other is a double-track railway linking Chumphon and Ranong.
  • The government has already budgeted THB10mn in fiscal 2021 for the state planning unit to conduct public hearings and feasibility studies for both projects.
  • Public hearings and studies will be carried out immediately once the budget for fiscal 2021, which started on 1 Oct 20, is allocated.
  • The man-made Thai Canal is a proposed route for the Kra Canal project, an ambitious plan to cut a canal across the southern peninsula and create a vital shipping route in the region.

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