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Patthalung: Artists say no to sluice gate on Pak Pra canal

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Artists say no to sluice gate on Pak Pra canal

By The Nation

 

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Chiranan in the middle and Dr Ransit throw their support to Pak Pra local residents. Photo credits/ Sayan Chuenudomsavad.

 

Patthalung – A group of artists demonstrated their support of those opposing the planned construction of a sluice gate on the Pak Pra canal, part of the complex wetland network of Songkhla Lake, where the country’s first Ramsar site of Phu Kuan Ki Sian was declared 20 years ago.
 

The group, led by noted photographer Dr Rangsit Thong samak, and SeaWrite poet Chiranan Pitpreecha, set up an exhibition on Pak Pra bridge of more than 100 photos showing the way of life of Pak Pra and iconic “Yor”, the giant fishing traps. The area is being promoted as an emerging tourist site under the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s new Mueang Thai Thae (Chic Thailand) campaign. 

 

The photos were submitted by a number of noted photographers nationwide at Dr Rangsit’s request after learning about the project.

 

“We hardly prepared anything for this exhibition, but upon learning about the project, every one was worried about the place and people here, and wanted to do something to show our impressions of both the place and the people here. We just leant about the proposed construction and hope those in charge will listen,” said Dr Rangsit said. 

 

Chiranan said the photographers loved Pak Pra and its scenery, not just as subjects for their photographs but also because of the way of life. The photographers thus wished to showcase the value of the area through their works and tell the public what will happen to the people and the place if the project goes ahead. 

 

“We do not intend to stage a protest or anything. We just want to show the value of the place and the people here, and the poem a about Pak Pra that I wrote for this event says it all,” said Chiranan.

 

The construction of the Pak Pra canal aims to prevent salt water intrusion from Thalae Luang (Songkha Lake’s third innermost part) to Pak Pra, which is connected to the lake’s northernmost section known as Thalae Noi, according to the Royal Irrigation Department.

 

Thalae Noi is where the first Ramsar site is located. It was also designated as a wildlife and non-hunting zone by the National Parks Department.

 

Local residents said they did not experience saltwater intrusion frequently as claimed by officials.

 

They are concerned that the project would have an environmental impact on the canal as well as surrounding ecosystems including the Ramsar site, and affect their livelihoods.

 

The residents said they had not been informed about the project until last month, when a ground survey was conducted around the community.

 

The RID said the project would be completed next year.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30356017

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-10-08

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