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Drinking water system heads to northern Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Drinking water system heads to northern Phuket | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Phuket Waterworks Authority has revealed a plan to provide public water fountains throughout Mai Khao as a pilot project in rolling out potable water supply to the northern parts of the island.

Pichai Wetchrungsri, Deputy Director of the Phuket Waterworks Authority, announced the news earlier this month at a meeting at Provincial Hall, where he explained that the plan was inspired by the drinking fountain at Loma Park in Patong.

“This year we plan to provide clean drinking water to the central and northern parts of the island,” Mr Pichai said.

He explained to the Phuket Gazette that the project will focus first on providing public water fountains in Mai Khao, as the northern end of the island is considered the “Gateway to Phuket”.

“There are also some important facilities in the area, such as Phuket International Airport, and soon the Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center,” he said.

“However, we have yet to decide on where to establish the supply point for the central parts of the island,” he added.

Mr Pichai said the water would be purified and then delivered to the drinking fountains through new polyester pipes that his office has been installing across Mai Khao for the past eight years, replacing the old PVC water mains.

“In the past we used PVC pipes, which were joined together with PVC glue. This glue sometimes did not provide a tight seal, so water occasionally would be contaminated,” Mr Pichai explained.

The new polyester pipes are joined by much tighter-fitting seals, greatly reducing the risk of the water being contaminated, he added.

The new pipes are being used in the 40-million-baht extension of local government water mains from Baan Pon, just south of Thalang Town, to Baan Mak Prok School, located near the eastern end of the runway at Phuket Airport.

The project will allow local communities in the north of Phuket to start hooking up their local water networks to the mains and using government water supply in their homes in Srisoonthorn, Thepkrasattri and Mai Khao subdistricts.

Connecting with the local water mains network from the Ban Jo water treatment plant – which is currently under construction to treat water from the Bang Neaw Dum reservoir – the new pipes are being laid alongside the southbound lane of Thepkrasattri Road from the 16km road marker to the 30km marker.

Pornthep Bunyapaluek, an engineer at the Phuket office of the Royal Irrigation Project, said the project is aimed at resolving recurring water shortages suffered by residents in the north.

Mr Pichai maintains that the government water supply is safe to drink – in some areas.

“We have been replacing the water mains pipes since 1998. So those areas being supplied by water treated at the government water treatment plants and delivered by the new pipes have safe drinking water,” he said.

In addition to the Bang Jo water treatment plant that is currently under construction, the Phuket Waterworks Authority is also looking into setting up a water treatment plant at the Klong Krata Dam in Chalong in order to provide drinking-quality water to residents in those areas.

“The Bang Niew Dum reservoir will supply water for the north of the island, especially during the construction of the Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center,” Mr Pichai said.

BUT IS IT SAFE TO DRINK?

The heads of the two major waterworks agencies in Phuket say their water is safe to drink after it leaves the treatment plant and arrives at your tap, but some experts warn otherwise.

Brad Kenny, an environmental engineer and managing director of Environmental Solutions & Protection company on the bypass road, previously told the Gazette in a special report that he believes water from the plants meets international drinking-water standards.

However, he expressed concern about tap water becoming contaminated between the treatment plant and the tap.

“Once water leaves the water treatment plant, here in Phuket or in your home country, no one has total control over all of the places that it could become re-contaminated: the water mains, the plumbing… and most of all, your own water storage tank.

“The best way to ensure that the water at your home is drinking quality is to be sure your own supply pipes are in good order and of good quality, along with quarterly cleaning and disinfecting of any water storage tanks you have,” he advised.

— Orawin Narabal & K Mueanhawon

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Thailand

Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Culture Trip

Things are getting back to normal in Phuket. The provincial government eased disease control restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to go back to their normal operating hours – no more midnight closure order – and lifting the late-night alcohol ban.

While bars can now stay open late and serve alcohol after midnight, dancing is prohibited and venues cannot serve alcohol in containers that will be shared among groups of people.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agreed to ease the restrictions yesterday and an order allowing late-night hours and alcohol sales was posted today by the Phuket’s Public Relations Department.

“As the Covid-19 situation in Phuket has improved that there are no more Covid-19 infections found, the committee agreed to cancel the late-night alcohol ban in order to revive the economy of Phuket.”

All businesses related to gathering activities are warned to follow the Covid-19 preventive measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Crime

2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night

The Thaiger

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2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night | The Thaiger
PHoTO: Nashaplaneta.net

Police say 2 men were gunned down at the Phuket Bus Terminal by a colleague at the terminal along the stretch of Thepkasattri road heading into Phuket Town last night. The incident happened at about 10:15pm with the local police chief arriving along with medical staff from Vachira Hospital shortly after the incident.

60 year old Wian Iadchuthong, the alleged gunman, was waiting to surrender at the scene when police arrived. Police say Wian appeared to be drunk and told them he had a serious argument with the 2 men and decided to take their lives with the gun. Police say they found 50 year old Yod Sae Lee lying on the ground in front of a taxi service stand, badly wounded. He was given CPR before being rushed to Vachira Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

54 year old Prakob Chuthong was also found lying dead by the counter of a 24 hour car park service kiosk. Police say he had been shot 2 times, once in the left side of his head and once in his left rib cage, according to Bangkok Post.

Witnesses say before the shooting, Wian was quietly drinking alone. But after getting drunk, he walked to the counter of the car park service kiosk and allegedly fired 2 shots from a 9mm gun at point-blank range, killing Prakob instantly. Wian then ran towards Yod, who was sitting in front of the taxi service stand. Yod saw Wian coming at him with the gun and he ran away to 1 side of the terminal building, only to be intercepted by Wian who allegedly fired 5 shots. Yod was hit 1 time in the head, 2 times in the torso and 2 times in the legs. Yod was also rushed to Vachira Hospital where he later died.

An initial police investigation found that the 3 were close colleagues at the workplace, but often engaged in heated fights over motorcycle taxi and taxi services at the bus terminal.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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