Opinion

Island View: If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

PHUKET: I have lived and worked in Phuket for quite a few years.

I’m sure we all agree that driving on the island is one of the biggest challenges in our daily lives. Getting to work and making your way home each day is a matter of luck and skillful maneuvering, but I am not going to complain about any of this.

I know it’s impossible to predict or control the behavior of others. People don’t drive to please you and neither can you be a perfect driver all the time.

Driver behavior is one thing, but road blockages due to construction are another thing entirely. I sometimes use the road alongside the wall of Tah Rua Temple to avoid the traffic at the Bang Khu underpass on my way to work.

This road is, of course, much longer than my usual route from Thepkrasattri to work. Nonetheless, it is serene and beautiful, lined with thousands of rubber and palm trees on both sides, and with hardly any traffic in sight.

Alas, this pleasure was short lived. My favorite, and very possibly the smoothest ribbon of asphalt on the island, has now been torn up for a complete replacement. What baffles me, however, is why this road was seen to need any alteration whatsoever. It was constructed just a handful of years ago and then completely resurfaced last year.

Before it was dug up this month, I couldn’t see a single pothole anywhere along its roughly 5km length.

I am lost as to what the authorities were thinking when they started tearing out this road for “repairs”, so I called some of the local authorities to find out the reason and was shocked to hear the simple assertion that it was indeed in need of such.

I have no idea what the real reason is for this project, or how the annual budget works here in Phuket. However, as an ordinary tax-paying citizen, I’d like to state that if there is a budget surplus, why not build a new road somewhere else where one is needed? Why “repair” a road that does not need it?

I want to see my tax money put to reasonable use.

— Chutharat Plerin

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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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