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 Tuesday, March 28 2006 @ 11:02 PM EST

Critically-low water level halts Thai-Lao Mekong River ferry services

   

General NewsCritically-low water levels in the Mekong River at this key Indochina trade border crossing point has stopped the service between Thailand and Laos.

According to provincial authorities here, the receding water level is at a critically low level that forces motorised-ferries between Thailand and Laos to remain at their moorings.

Mukdahan Governor Boonsom Pirintharawong told Thai news agency on Wednesday that the river has dried up so quickly that it was impossible for motor ferries between Thailand's Mukdahan to Laos's Sawannakhet to cross, forcing operators to suspend services since last Friday.

More than 200 truckloads of goods are reportedly waiting on both sides of the water frontier to cross the border because of the suspension of services.

Governor Boonsom met with concerned agencies and businesses and is appointing a joint committee to find a solution.

As a short term solution, the committee suggested relocation of the ferry service to a new site some 10 kilometres distant where waters remain deep enough for the operation.

Operators said they are prepared to reopen services as soon as they have permission from the authorities, ferry owners and local villagers whose lands would need to be used.

A few months ago the bridge collapsed which links Mukdahan Thailand and Laos Sawannakhet over the Mekong River in Thailand’s northeastern.




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