BANGKOK, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Saturday that her government was worried about drought situation which could be intensified in the next three months, Thai News Agency reporrted.
The premier expressed concern in her weekly televised address " Yingluck government meets the people", saying that the government has reviewed its strategies in tackling drought to avoid repeated problems, as 29 provinces, mostly in the north and northeast, have been declared disaster zones affected by drought.
She said the government wants the public to have sufficient water resources for consumption, while for agriculture, the government will have to consider the water management situation in each area, such as suggesting farmers plant crops which consume less water and introducing alternative occupations.
In the long-term, Yingluck said a sustainable water management plan is needed under a single command operation with about 12 million U.S. dollars of budget, which will covers both flooding and drought.
Regarding haze problem in the north caused by forest fire and burning of cultivated lands after harvest to prepare fields for the next plantings, Yingluck said a special centre has been set up to closely monitor the smog situation during the so-called "80 dangerous days" after harvest season.
She said the overall situation has improved as local residents have cooperated with the authorities, adding the government focuses on crop burning prevention and offers technical assistance to farmers to improve their soil quality and productivity.