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Cherng Talay OrBorTor rallies against illegal billboards

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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CHERNG TALAY: Ma-an Sumraan, Vice-President of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration (OrBorTor), has launched a campaign to rid his neighborhood of all illegal billboards.

Cherng Talay OrBorTor officials have started pasting warning notices on offending billboards as part of K. Ma-an’s “soft” approach to the problem.

However, some people have interpreted the warning notices as somewhat hostile and simply ripped them off the billboards.

The warnings stipulate that billboard owners must remove their boards or face paying the OrBorTor for the costs of pulling down the boards down. If the costs are not paid, the disassembled billboards will not be returned to their owners. The materials will be sold as scrap metal and wood, K. Ma-an said.

Initially, the warnings pasted on the billboards were A4 size, but now (larger) A3-size notices are being used, he explained.

The majority of offenders are real estate companies or the advertising agencies that they retain, he said.

K. Ma-an added that he understands that businesses need to advertise, but he would like them to be more socially responsible in their marketing strategies.

“Around 99% of the billboards on the island are illegal in one way or another,” he said.

“Most billboards are illegal because building permission was not obtained. In many cases, it is obvious because the billboards have been erected on public land, where, in theory, it is not possible to be issued a permit.

“Many of these billboard erections are also in violation of other laws and regulations, such as safety rules that take into consideration where the billboard could be blown over in a storm.

“If permission had not been obtained for an erection, then the billboard tax is also often evaded,” he added.

However, K. Ma-an added, “A large part of the problem seems to have arisen due to the lax attitude of government officials who were previously in power before I came here.”

K. Ma-an explained that he will continue with his “soft” approach for now. However, he might consider informing Cherng Talay Municipality officers, who would have the authority to fine transgressors from 2,000 to 5,000 baht.

Those who fail to heed warnings are likely to be fined the full amount, he said.

 

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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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