July 2, 2003
All eight sluice gates at the Pak Moon dam were opened yesterday, and will stay open for four months.
The opening was in line with the Jan 14 cabinet resolution that all gates be opened from July to October each year.
The Electricity Generating Authority (Egat) said the four-month opening of the gates would cause it to lose 352 million baht in revenue from power production.
Villagers living near the dam disagree with the cabinet resolution. They want the opening and closure of the gates to be based on the level of the Moon river.
Somjit Naluam, a leading villager from Hua Hiew village in Khong Chiam district, said
the gates should have been opened ahead of schedule to allow fish to spawn.
He also said the release of more than 50 million fish and shrimp into the river was a waste of money as the opening of the gates would force a large number of fish to travel downstream to the Mekong river. Earlier, opponents of the dam had demanded the year-round opening of the dam’s eight sluice gates.