Deputy PM nixes underpasses plan

PHUKET: Two underpasses on the bypass road will not be built in the immediate future, Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop has announced.

During his recent visit to Phuket, K. Suwat said the proposals for the underpasses – at the notorious Samkong and Darasamut School intersections – will not even be considered until the widening of the bypass road is completed in September 2006.

The Phuket Provincial Highways Office has pressed for the underpasses, arguing that they will relieve traffic congestion, but K. Suwat claimed that the road widening currently underway will solve the problems.

“The road widening will create more space on the road for traffic, and allow more vehicles to pass through the intersection at a time,” he explained.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) estimates that the underpasses will be needed within three years.

Said K. Suwat, “The OTTPP will look at this project closely in a couple of years. If there are still problems, the underpass project will be launched immediately.”

During a flying visit to Phuket in August, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra rejected the proposals for the underpasses, describing the 800 million baht budget as “too high”. He asked sarcastically, “Are they going to be decorated with pearls?”

Phuket News

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