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Fears raised over new wells fouling Phuket groundwater

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Governor’s Office is taking quick action to prevent a slew of new wells excavated in the Kata-Karon area from threatening the local groundwater supply.

Phuket Vice Governor Suthee Thongyam led a meeting yesterday at Provincial Hall, where he heard complaints from residents throughout the entire Kata-Karon area.

“Local residents use water from shallow wells for their daily necessities, and the number of new wells can result in the groundwater supply becoming tainted with seawater,” Karon subdistrict chief (kamnan) Winai Chidchiew said.

Kamnan Winai implored the Governor’s Office to intervene before the Karon water table became salinated.

Vice Governor Suthee tasked Kasem Sukwaree, chief of the Natural Resources and Environment Phuket office, to immediately investigate the effect of the new wells on the local residents’ groundwater supply.

“Thirteen companies already have permission from the Governor’s Office to dig new wells in Kata-Karon, and four of them have already been approved by Karon Municipality,” V/Gov Suthee explained.

“But if the investigation reveals that the addition of these wells may affect local residents’ well water, we will order them to stop.”

V/Gov Suthee also set up a committee to prevent applications for new wells anywhere in Phuket being fielded by the Governor’s Office before first being approved by the local authority.

The committee comprises district chiefs, mayors, kamnan and local villagers for each district where the application is being filed.

“From now on, any applications for new wells will first have to be approved by this committee before it is filed with the Governor’s Office for approval,” V/Gov Suthee said.

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

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