In Thailand, King Bhumibol on Monday (18 September) officially inaugurated construction of a multi purpose dam project designed to modernise the and increase food production in the country's remote jungle provinces of the south.
GV Dam site and surrounding countryside. (Three shots)
SV Thai flags at construction site.
SV Armed troops guarding site during opening ceremony.
SV King Bhumibol arriving. (Three shots)
SV News photographers.
SV King inaugurating dam
SV Queen Sirikit watching.
SV King laying foundation stones.
The Banglang Dam is being built with loans from the World Bank and the Kuwait Fund. Thailand's Prime Minister Kriangsak Chamanand also attended the inauguration.
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Background: In Thailand, King Bhumibol on Monday (18 September) officially inaugurated construction of a multi purpose dam project designed to modernise the and increase food production in the country's remote jungle provinces of the south. The multi-million dollar Banglang Dam complex is being built on a site just north of the Malaysian border in Moslem-dominated Yala Province, seven hundred miles (1120 kilometres) south of Bangkok.
SYNOPSIS: Work on the project has been hampered by a total of twenty-five attacks from communist insurgents, who operate on both sides of the Thai-Malay border. Since construction began late in 1976, more than twenty workers and soldiers have been killed or wounded.
Two platoons from the Thai Fourth Army are stationed at the construction site, and are always on the lookout for communist landmines and other booby traps. The troops kept a watchful eye for any trouble when King Bhumibol arrived for a ceremony that was considered a propaganda victory for the government.
When completed in late 1981, the dam will produce seventy-two thousand kilowatts of electricity for the area, and boost local food production as one hundred and ten thousand acres (44,514 hectares) of land come under irrigation. The project will also help prevent destructive monsoon floods which hit the area almost every year.