The government is preparing a master plan to manage water flows to prevent a repeat of the nation’s most damaging floods in decades as foul water creeps towards the capital’s commercial centre.
”The plan would mobilise all real experts to work in the same direction,” said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has come under heavy criticism for mishandling the disaster that has killed more than 427 people, affected the lives of 3 million others and crippled the country’s industry and crop production.
”To date we have taken many directions that never worked,” she said.
Ms Yingluck’s government has proposed that part of a $A25 billion recovery fund be used to better manage water systems and flood defences.
Analysts say that when the floods eventually recede, which will take weeks, the government will have to move quickly to reassure foreign companies that have operated in Thailand since the 1980s.
Many of their factories were built on flood plains. Seven of Thailand’s key industrial estates are flooded, knocking as much as two percentage points off the country’s economic growth this year, analysts say.
An estimated quarter of the world’s hard-drive output is under water in factories in provinces north of Bangkok, where the most severe flooding occurred.
Honda Motor Co has had to cut production by almost a third because key components are submerged in Thailand.
The United Nations is monitoring the potential for food shortages in parts of south-east Asia after flooding devastated rice and other crops in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.
About 12.5 per cent of rice farmland in Thailand has been damaged. The floods have covered three-quarters of Thailand for weeks.