First Person: A fond farewell to Phuket

Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong will soon take up a similar post in Nonthaburi to tackle new projects and challenges. After serving one year here, the governor, originally from Ratchaburi, stepped in with the aim to develop and make much needed changes in Phuket and its future.

Here he reflects on his time in Phuket and the work that he is most proud of.

PHUKET: I am impressed with Phuket for many reasons.

First, all the projects that are taking place on the island would not be possible for me to handle on my own. They require a great deal of cooperation from local sectors.

Additionally, Phuket has a very strong local community network. They strictly monitor officials’ work and effectively voice their opinion, reflecting the problems in the province, such as the protest that took place at the Samkong underpass construction site.

They take their civic duty seriously and take good steps to improve political development.

On my official Facebook fan page that is open for Phuket’s people, there are a lot of useful comments, complaints and suggestions on subjects concerning my work. It connects residents and officials and encourages them to work together. It makes the process quicker.

On the other hand, Phuket is a very challenging place to govern.

I have had to substantially improve myself in many ways. Every day, new problems or issues come up, all different and unpredictable.

The associations and clubs, such as the Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Industry Union, have given me moral support and have advised me many times when dealing with difficult situations.

And lastly, the media here are very supportive and are always offering suggestions and raising topics to help make my work as efficient as possible. We share information with one another to best understand what’s best for the island.

As for the work I have done, I have always said that I have tried to govern the province with four main principles in mind – to upgrade standards, encourage tourism, preserve the natural environment and implement sustainable management systems.

As we can now see, the traffic problem is being solved with the underpass projects that have received a budget of more than 1 billion baht. Projects like this will help develop the province in the next two years.

However, there is no development that will be convenient for everyone 100 per cent of the time. People will definitely face traffic jams, but please be patient.

Apart from the big budget for the traffic infrastructure, there are projects that I have started that I am very proud of.

Phuket received a 180-million-baht budget to finish the Klong Kata Dam in Chalong and connect with the Provincial Waterworks Authority’s water supply center. After this is complete, the water supply system in Phuket will flow much more efficiently.

The construction of the Chalong Hospital also received a budget of 105 million baht. I have already set up a committee to work on the project and this will take about 2 years to complete.

Meanwhile, the flood protection system in Patong recently received 420 million baht, while a separate budget of 550 million baht was approved for the Muang District flood protection system.

Aside from infrastructure, I was also able to obtain a 29-million-baht budget to purchase more than 200 CCTV cameras, and 150 million baht from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ project, ‘Phuket, Peaceful City’, to install and maintain the cameras.

I am also proud of implementing the Grab Taxi system in Phuket, as well as approving 87 new tuk-tuks to work legally, while pushing 50-baht public van transportation between Patong and Phuket.

Although almost every project will be completed in a few years, I am proud that I have laid their foundations and created a high standard for Phuket’s future.

— Nattha Thepbamrung

Opinion

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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