On 21 October 2012, AIT was flooded by two meters of water. The international institute of higher learning adjacent to Thammasat University and NSTDA suffered considerable damage to all ground-level facilities, with almost 50% of its infrastructure for education and research destroyed. Having been informed of another flood risk in 2012 and ongoing flood protection efforts in AIT’s neighboring areas, the AIT Management Team, in its 29 February 2012 meeting, agreed to establish a Task Force to draw up a flood protection plan for the AIT campus.
The task force is mandated to evaluate different options based on risks and cost impacts, and to propose a final design, a method of implementation, and timelines for construction. The task force will also supervise the Project Management Office to call for bids for implementation of the project.
The first meeting of the Task Force on Future Flood Protection was held on 30 April 2012. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, Vice President for Resource Development. The meeting was attended by Dr. Noppadol Phien-wej, Geotechnical Engineering; Dr. Sutat Weesakul, Hydraulic Engineering; Dr. Sangam Shrestha, Water Management; Dr. Nitin Kumar Tripathi, Remote Sensing; Dr. Greg Chiu, Disaster Risk Analysis; Mr. Pierre Benchitrite, Contract Manager, Sodexo, Thailand; Dr. Sun Sayamipuk, Project Management Consultant, and Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director, AIT Consulting.
The meeting focused on the short and long term strategies that AIT needs to put in place for protection from any future flooding. The task force discussed in detail the short term strategy that was considered more urgent, keeping in view the flood threat. As part of this strategy three options were discussed:
- Strengthening the existing dykes
- Strengthening the existing dykes and converting it to be used as a peripheral road
- Building sheetpile flood wall
Of the three options discussed, the second option was considered more feasible as besides the basic function of flood protection the dyke will also serve as peripheral road, through which areas currently difficult to access will be made accessible. The task force decided that a complete cost estimation needs to be developed for all the options, and the net drainage capacity of the internal canal system and pumping capacity needs to be ascertained. AIT Consulting for this task will provide information on AIT’s topographic maps, GIS based maps for internal canal system, infrastructure facilities, and other information as required by the task force.