Bang Tao vendors get eviction reprieve

CHERNG TALAY: The stall operators on Bang Tao Beach were not forced to clear the beach yesterday, as threatened by eviction notices issued to the vendors earlier this month. Instead, they have been allowed to stay until a new site has been found for them, following progress in negotiations between the vendors and the provincial and local authorities.

The news follows a meeting of local and provincial government officers and beach vendors on Wednesday.

At the meeting, local villager and beach vendor Prajim Plodphai said, “I have lived here since it was a tin mine. We earn our living here, which was allowed by the local tambon [subdistrict administration] office 14 years ago and the OrBorTor [Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization] has also allowed it.

“We don’t want to move, but the government said we have to. They stuck the eviction notices on our doors, saying that we had to move out before September 15 – but we won’t. We will fight this until the end of our days.

“We would be very happy if the government did the same as they did at Patong Beach, and we don’t want them to give us the land titles for that land,” he added.

Santi Korkarvee, Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) member for Cherng Talay, said “We should approach this seriously. The government should clear the beach and allocate areas [for vendors], and create a walkway about a meter wide [along the beach]. That would make it a great place to relax.

“There are four restaurants, four tour counters, eight soft drink vendors and 18 garment vendors, and each of them has a stall from five to 15 meters wide. Everybody is willing to have smaller stalls and come to a compromise to help keep our beach beautiful,” he added.

Wiwat Dorktien, a Vice-President of Cherng Talay OrBorTor, suggested that at least some of the operators may be able to relocate to a nearby plot belonging to Laguna Phuket Resorts & Hotels. “Government officers should talk to Laguna Phuket and survey the recommended sites,” he said.

A representative of Laguna Phuket said that the request to have the vendors relocate to the plot belonging to the resort would be brought to his superior’s attention, though he added that consideration had to be given as to whether vendors at the suggested plot would annoy guests or spoil the view.

At the meeting, Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura praised the progress in finally resolving the problem. “It’s good that we can talk together. The government policy to improve the beach first appeared in 1992, but no one has paid serious attention to solving the problems.

“The [provincial] government asked the OrBorTor to solve this problem because they know the area better. However, they did not know how to handle such a difficult problem, so in the end we [the provincial government] had to help them to come up with a solution,” the Governor said.

Phuket News

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