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Gov orders encroachers’ homes demolished

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET CITY: Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura yesterday ordered the demolition of 30 terraced houses being built for illegal encroachers on Sirinath Marine National Park land by the Sakoo Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor).

The Governor announced his decision at an open meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall, attended by the Sakoo OrBorTor Chief Surapong Panyawai and Sirinath Marine National Park Chief Thanapong Aphaisorn.

At the meeting K. Surapong explained that, before the tsunami, Sakoo OrBorTor had applied to K. Thanapong for permission to build permanent housing for the encroachers. K. Thanapong refused, but instead agreed to allow temporary housing to be built.

However, K. Thanapong was transferred to Ranong on March 23, and replaced by Sakon Bumrungtrakul. (After the meeting K. Surapong asserted that K. Thanapong was transferred because he had “a problem with local people”. K. Thanapong later denied this.)

After K. Thanapong’s departure, K. Surapong said, the encroachers had complained to Sakoo OrBorTor that the temporary houses would be structurally unstable and too small.

“So we applied to Park Chief Sakon to build stronger, larger houses, and he agreed,” said K. Surapong.

However, K. Thanapong returned to his post at Sirinath on May 6, and has since refused to allow construction to continue because he had never approved the building of permanent houses.

K. Surapong explained that Sakoo OrBorTor had received a budget of 15 million baht from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and permission to use seven rai of national park land to build homes for encroachers and to develop the area surrounding the building.

“The national park [when K. Sakon was Park Chief] gave approval for us to start construction before obtaining approval to use park land, but said that we could send the paperwork later,” he said.

“However, work has now stopped. If we demolish this structure, it means we demolish a building already worth about 6 million baht.

“Permanent homes are the real way to solve this problem. Sakoo OrBorTor can rent them out to local people,” he added.

However, Gov Udomsak said, “The building is different from the plans, and it obscures the beautiful, natural view. It is so ugly.”

The Governor added that he did not think that building houses for encroachers was fair for people who do not encroach on government land.

“This is my policy: whoever encroaches on government land, if they build in the daytime, we will demolish it in the nighttime.

“After that, we’ll see them in court,” he said.

The Governor ordered the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, K. Surapong and K. Thanapong to find a new location within one week where the OrBorTor can build houses for encroachers.

K. Surapong said that he expects the new location to be on 10 rai on the north side of the Pearl Village Hotel.

Gov Udomsak also ordered that the partially-built homes in the park be demolished as fast as possible once a new location has been decided on.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Thaiger

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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