With the plum rain season just two months away, the government is jump-starting its schedule for completing a dredging plan and has said that no limits would be set on the amount of sand and mud that can be dredged from rivers and reservoirs around the country.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs had planned to remove 52 million cubic meters of sand and mud from December last year to November, but is now shortening the plan’s completion time to the end of June.
After hearing a ministry report on the subject, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the ministry should work closely with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to make sure that after the dredging, rainwater runoff will not affect roads or embankments.
He told the economics ministry to make sure the government contractors doing the dredging work ensure a smooth flow of water from the dredged areas.
Wu said the dredging of the nation’s major reservoirs must not be delayed and that attention should be paid to ensuring good drainage in catchment areas.
According to Wu, the government’s dredging efforts have achieved good results, with sand prices having fallen by almost 25 percent from July to December last year, lowering the costs of public construction projects.
He told officials to make sure that earth and sand gathered for flood control use does not wash onto farmland, roads or villages in times of heavy precipitation.
As the nation enters its final stage of preparation for a new flood season, Wu said governments at all levels must check all flood-control measures and facilities, including sandbags, pumping systems and vehicles, and make sure there is an efficient division of labor among the various agencies.
“Advance steps can be taken to release water from dams ahead of the rainy season so there is space to accommodate rapid water rises in times of sudden precipitation,” he said.