Monday, 21 October 2013

Landfill project costing Bt450mill to halt Pattaya Beach erosion

Like other coastal cities, Pattaya is losing parts of its majestic beach to erosion at the rate of one metre every monsoon season.

A massive landfill project, to cost the central government Bt450 million, is planned to restore the city's 2.7-kilometre beach to its former glory. About 50 years ago, Pattaya boasted 35 metres of beachfront, but presently, sandy areas are less than five metres in width during high tide. Under the project, tonnes of sand would be transported to the beachfront to restore the condition of the city's North, Central and South Pattaya beaches. 

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh was optimistic that the landfill project was a sustainable solution for keeping the beachfront in pristine condition. He said the area would first undergo an environmental impact assessment (EIA) under the supervision of the Marine Department. The city has already spent Bt16 million in emergency funds to check the 29-metre erosion of North Pattaya beach. Hundreds of giant sandbags line the beach. 

Kasetsart University environmentalist Somnuk Jongmeewasin said the landfill was a stopgap solution for coastal erosion. "The sustainable way to solve erosion is to refrain from encroaching on the sea", he said. "Man made diversions of the tide and current are the main causes of this erosion. For example, the construction of the Truth Sanctuary in Pattaya Bay has had an adverse impact on the surrounding environment."

Read the full article at The Nation.

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