THAILAND - Environmental activists and engineers have warned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra she will face impeachment if her government does not follow the Constitution and conduct public hearings to truly listen to opinions from people who may be affected by its massive water-management scheme.
Organising exhibitions would not suffice, they said.
"If the government does not follow good practice for public hearings for its water mega-scheme and the order by the Central Administrative Court, the government will also face another lawsuit to the Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office in the Supreme Court for failing to comply with the Constitution. It will also face impeachment," said Hannarong Yaowalers, who chairs the Foundation for Integrated Water Management.
He was speaking at a seminar on "Good Engineering Process and Public Hearings for the Water Management Project" held by the Engineering Institute of Thailand.
His warning follows a comment by Deputy Premier Plodprasop Suraswadi, who chaired a Water and Flood Management Commission meeting last week and vowed to conduct "public hearings" by organising an exhibition and an event to collect opinions about the water and flood management scheme.
Thongchai Panswad, former president of the Thailand Environment Institute Foundation, also called for strategic environmental assessments to be done to study the overall impact of the Bt350-billion (S$14.32 billion) water scheme. Doing environmental impact assessments and health impact assessments (EIAs and HIAs) on various projects would not be enough for the government and public to see the whole impact of the scheme, he said.