Protest over coal power plant in Thailand

Coal power plant – Protesters gathered at the public hearing on a coal-fueled power plant in Songkhla, Thailand.

The third and final hearing for the 2,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant was held at the Pak Bang Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO) office.
About 50 local demonstrators united in front of the hearing site demanding the governor of the region should drop this project and revoke his ban order.

A day before the hearing Songkhla governor Thamrong Charoenkul signed an order blocking public gatherings at the hearing venue.
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the project owner, expressed their fear that local people might try to stage a rally against the plant. Thus, security measures were taken at the hearing site and 400 security officials were deployed for the safety of the people.

The protesters boycotted the public meeting when they were not allowed to attend because they wanted to bring their placards opposing the power plant.

Mr. Thamrong chaired the hearing and told the attendees that the project will benefit Thepa residents.

Some people at the ceremony did not know much about the matter despite of Thepa is now known nationwide.
Many residents showed their support for the project and they believe that this plant will serve as the cornerstone in the development of Southern region of the country.

“Perhaps coal-fired plant will create jobs for local people,” said Muhammad Sa-I, 38 year-old Thepa resident.
“I’m not sure about the impact of the project. But it would be great if local residents can pay cheaper prices for power.”

Ai-yob Muheh, 47-year-old protester, said he is concerned about the impacts of coal power.
“This area is abundant with natural resources. Coal will ruin that,” he said.

The group of protesters filed a petition asking to investigate the public hearing and Mr. Thamrong for his order banning gatherings at the Pak Bang TAO office. IMAGE/bangkokpost

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