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Adopt-a-highway scheme in the works

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Adopt-a-highway scheme in the works | The Thaiger
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PHUKET CITY: The provincial government is to launch two ambitious schemes aimed at beautifying Phuket. The Phuket Provincial Highways Office (PPHO) has already received 2.4 million baht in provincial funds to beautify the five-kilometer stretch of road connecting Phuket International Airport to Thepkrasattri Rd, and is now developing an “adopt-a-highway” scheme intended to spruce up the entire 40-km length of Thepkrasattri Rd from the airport to Phuket City. PPHO Chief Wanchai Wattanasiri said the project is in line with the policy of Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura, who was ordered by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to plant bouganvillea and make other improvements to the route from the airport into town. The order came as the two CEOs drove together along the road during the PM’s most recent visit to the island, in February this year. The Governor quoted the Prime Minister as saying he wants visiting tourists to enjoy a nice view all the way from the airport to their hotels. In order to turn the PM’s vision into reality, the PPHO is now preparing a model of the proposed improvements for submission to Vice Governor Winai Buapradit, who is responsible for the project, dubbed krongkaan thanon suay (Beautiful Road Project). The private sector is being called on to foot the bill. “We will divide Thepkrasattri Rd into one-kilometer sections and allow the private sector – developers, companies or hotels – to sponsor the beautification work within each section,” said K. Wanchai. K. Wanchai said he expects sponsorship for each 1-kilometer stretch to range from 700,000 to 1.2 million baht, depending on the width of the road. Sponsors who carry out the upgrade and maintenance work themselves will be eligible for a lower rate, but the work must conform with the Government approved design specifications, he added. In exchange for their contribution, sponsors will be allowed to erect signs informing passers-by that their business is responsible for the roadside scenery. The signs, too, will have to conform with government rules on size and appearance. After the improvements are made, the companies will be able to continue their sponsorship in following years by paying an annual maintenance fee, the amount of which will be determined during the first year of the project. K. Wanchai said that 20 businesses had already applied to take part in the scheme, which he said is similar to schemes that have been successfully implemented for decades in many US states. In a related development, the PPHO will install 110 new light poles along the road to the airport next month. The work should be completed by the end of July, said K. Wanchai. Gov Udomsak told the Gazette that, in addition to the Beautiful Road Project, the province is also working on an island-wide waste management scheme that has been provisionally entitled Chao Baan Kwaad Muang (“The Villagers Sweep the Town”). The plan, still in the planning stages, is expected to begin next month. “We will encourage Phuket people to keep their island clean. Volunteers will check areas around people’s homes to see if they are being kept clean. The information they collect will be recorded in a registration log. “We will enforce provisions of the Public Health Act and other applicable laws. Responsibility will rest with local administration bodies such as tambon administration organizations,” said the Governor.

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

Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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