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Fury at proposal to close Phi Phi

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Fury at proposal to close Phi Phi | The Thaiger

KRABI (Gazette, Nation, AFP): Local businesspeople and officials have branded as “a big joke” a proposal that Phi Phi Don Island should be closed for two years to allow pollution in the tourism hotspot to be cleaned up. The proposal was put forward by Tourist Police Commander Pol Col Sanit Miphan, who told The Nation newspaper recently that the tiny island had become badly polluted due to a lack of facilities to cope with the explosion in tourism over the past few years. “The island should be closed for one or two years to improve basic facilities to keep it tidy,” the newspaper quoted Col Sanit as saying. He explained that poor infrastructure accompanied by a foreign tourism boom on the island had led to problems such as inappropriate waste disposal and water pollution. The lack of electricity also meant businesses had to generate their own power. Pankam Kitithorakul, Chairman of the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), which oversees the Phi Phi Islands, described the proposal as “Big Joke No 2”, a reference to another proposal, put forward in December last year by Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi, that the government should buy the island, then clean it up. He launched a furious attack on the proposal: “This is the first I’ve heard about this,” he told the Gazette. “I just want to ask the tourist police, ‘Are you sure that you are really working hard for us?'” He said he was certain that it would be impossible to close the island –that there is no law allowing the government to do so. In any case, he added, “It’s not necessary to close the island if they want to tidy it up. We can go on doing business and clean it up at the same time. “This news will only confuse the tourists. Does he [Col Sanit] want to destroy tourism in Krabi?” K. Pankam agreed, however, that water and power facilities on Phi Phi Don are not good, “but that doesn’t mean that closing the island for one or two years would make them work perfectly.” Referring to the existing water and power plants, he said, “I plan to put signs in front of them – ‘Water Treatment Plant Monument’ and ‘Incinerator Monument’ because they have never worked since they were installed by the government. Saritpong Kiewkong, Vice-President of the Krabi Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) and owner of the Phi Phi Pavilion Resort, also slammed the idea of closing the island. “It’s not the right way to solve problems. It’s like closing all the pubs because they let in people under the age of 20; the police should pay more attention to arresting the teenagers, [not closing the pubs].” He pointed out, “If the island were closed, every businessman there would be in trouble. How can [Col Sanit] guarantee that if the island is closed for one or two years, it will improve? How can he be sure that if it is closed, the garbage will disappear? “If you want to improve everything, this idea is a contradiction; you should fix things when the island is open, not when there’s no activity at all. “So many people say that they love Phi Phi Island but I don’t see anyone really living up to their responsibilities. We in the OrBorJor are keen to support every project – we are trying to push forward the 619-million-baht power plant project for the island, but the government is still silent [on funding]. “The Tourist Police should do their job properly first, before they say things like this.” Jaturong Pengnoraphit, Secretary to Somsak Thepsuthin, the minister who oversees the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), also rejected the proposal to close down Phi Phi for a year or more as completely unworkable. “It’s impossible to close down Phi Phi. I asked Col Sanit about this and he said it was merely a proposal under discussion. What we can do is to reorganize and beautify the island,” he said. However, Jaturong admitted the TAT had discussed restricting the number of tourists allowed on the island to reduce pressure on the environment.



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Phuket

Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | The Thaiger

A female motorbike driver has sustained injuries after her motorbike’s hand grip malfunctioned and she collided with a glass wall.

Chalong Police were notified of the incident at an air conditioning shop at 6pm yesterday on Chao Fa West Road in Chalong.

Police and emergency responders arrived and found the shattered glass wall and a damaged motorbike.

The injured 40 year old Naowarat Jankarn had already been taken to Chalong Hospital. She sustained injuries from cuts from the broken glass. polls of blood were found on the floor.

Ms Naowarat told police that she had parked her motorbike in front of the shop since Wednesday . The motorbike was underivable because the hand grip accelerator was malfunctioning.

Yesterday she started the motorbike, claiming she had forgotten about the broken accelerator.

Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tiw Tiw

The Thalang Police are hunting for the driver who was threatening other motorists on Thepkrasattri Road by waving a gun around out of the driver’s window of his red sedan in Thalang this morning.

A Facebook user ‘Tiw Tiw’ has posted the video with a message reading “where are the police, please follow him. The incident happened this morning in Thalang.”

The video shows a car switching from one lane to another.  The driver shows a gun in his car window and then appears to throw it out (at least he used his indicator).

The Thalang Police are investigating the incident and want to find the car driver for questioning.

 

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Phang Nga

Phuket’s hotel and property players look north

Bill Barnett

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Phuket’s hotel and property players look north | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

One of Greater Phuket’s real estate and hotel market’s that has a decided buzz of late is the area north of Phuket over the Sarasin bridge in Phang Nga.

In Natai Beach, the entry of the Baba Beach Club and nearby Akyra has created renewed visibility for the broad West Coast stretch of white sand beach, extending north beyond Phuket.

Two upscale hotels are in the development phase in the vicinity, with one being flagged to an international hotel operator.

Up at the 1,000 plus rai Thai Muang mega-project, movement is once again underway, as is a nearby massive Japanese-led mixed-use project including a golf course.

Land values are currently running amuck in the Koh Kloi area where the AOT (Airports of Thailand) has reportedly acquired land for an upcoming Phang Nga airport which will provide Phuket with a second gateway alternative.

Premium land transactions are taking place, with the most notable being the recent trade of the former oceanfront site in Bodan that was to be at various stages first a Raffles and later a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

Looking at Phuket’s light-rail initiative, one knock-on effect will be the eventual linkage between the island and larger connection to a broader rail terminus in Koh Kloi. This will likely spur real estate speculators to acquire peripheral locations.

As Phang Nga’s West Coast four land highway expansion moves forward to Khao Lak and beyond, Phuket’s Northern neighbor is seeing a renewed push in its tourism, property and infrastructure.

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