Failed Phuket construction projects trigger corruption investigation

A number of failed Phuket construction projects have triggered a corruption investigation after being called into question by the STRONG Anti-Corruption Thailand Club.

The Phuket government information office has shared posts online by the group that detail projects that were meant to be completed years ago, despite millions of baht being spent on them.

According to The Phuket News, one of those projects is the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai which has remained incomplete after six years. Another is that of the Phuket Rajabhat University which remains unfinished for 10 years with 495 million baht already being spent on the project.

The university building was originally intended to provide a venue to hold teaching courses but is now abandoned. Construction had begun in 2013 with about 199 million baht paid for the “first round” of construction. Three more rounds of funding were added, but the site is unfinished.

The STRONG Anti-Corruption Thailand Club posted about the projects’ unfinished status.

“After 10 years, there is still no sign that the construction has been completed. From investigation, it was found that in addition to the problem of changing the budget funds assigned along the way, there is still a problem with land boundaries. Who does not survey the area well before starting the project?”

“It is considered to be acting incorrectly. [They] cannot claim that they do not know the area and the various regulations of the university, and are using the distance between the Council President and the Chancellor for mutual benefit.”

“This project must be transferred into the good hands of an inspection agency to carry out an intensive investigation because, in addition to losing the budget, we also lose the opportunity that students in the Andaman zone can learn hotel business education, which is the main occupation in the area.”

Meanwhile, the Phuket Check Point reportedly received 131 million baht for improvements but has remained unfinished.

The group also posted online concerning the project’s status.

“Recently, the network of the STRONG club in Phuket has been monitoring the abandoned ‘Andaman Safety Centre Enhancement Project’, which was to build confidence among tourists in the area of Tha Chatchai Checkpoint in Mai Khao Thalang, Phuket.

“The budget was 131,490,000 divided into the construction of a tourist checkpoint building worth 16 million baht, a front office building worth 14 million baht and 101 million baht on improving the area.

“The project started in 2016, with the contract specifying the work was to be completed by April 19, 2017, but after six years there is still no sign that it will be opened.

“The internal condition is damaged and incomplete [as shown in the pictures]. It is a waste of space and a waste of budget funds that cannot be used again.

“Phuket is a world-class tourist city, each year it receives 10 million tourists, but instead of completing this and being able to use it, where did the project become stuck?”

The network then proposed to have the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning and other inspection agencies urgently follow up with the unfinished projects.

The network’s Facebook page has more than 110,000 followers with the two recent posts about the failed construction projects being shared by its followers nationwide.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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