Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be in charge of a new special agency to run a new overall water management system under a resolution approved by the cabinet, deputy government spokeswoman Anuttama Amornviwat said on Tuesday.

Ms Anuttama said the special agency, proposed by the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management, will be established as a public organisation. It will be headed by a director whose position is equivalent to the permanent secretary of a ministry.

The agency will operate under two committees, both chaired by the prime minister.

The first committee will comprise representatives from all ministries. It will be responsible for formulating policies and oversee the entire water management system in the country.

The other committee will oversee the agency’s administration.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra inspects Bang Chom Sri sluice gate in Sing Buri province on Oct 3, 2011. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Ms Anuttama said the agency will be responsible for the management of water resources and the handling of water-related disasters.

Prime Minister Yingluck said she will make an extensive tour of flood-hit areas from the North down to Bangkok from Feb 13 to 17 to inspect the progress of rehabilitation projects.

She will be accompanied by a number of cabinet members on the trip.

Ms Yingluck said she would take the opportunity to talk to local people and explain the necessity for the government to declare some localities as water retention areas.

Areas to be used for storing water would be announced after her trip and the people affected would be compensated, she said.

The announcement would be made only after it was certain that the local people understood and agreed to cooperate, she added.

The prime minister also confirmed that a party would be held on Friday at Government House to thank those officials who had contributed to flood relief operations. The opposition has questioned the appropriateness of a celebration when at least 100,000 flood victims have yet to receive the government’s promised financial assistance.

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