Gov to talk fast for B2bn

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura will have just 10 minutes to propose development projects costing 2 billion baht to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during a whistle-stop visit by the PM on August 25.

Speaking after a meeting this morning to prepare for the PM’s visit to Phuket, Provincial Highways Office (PPHO) Chief Wanchai Wattanasiri told the Gazette that the PPHO plans to build underpasses at the Darasamut and the Samkong junctions, with the bypass road diving beneath the roads meeting it at those points.

“Each underpass will be about 200 meters long and four lanes wide. They will cost about 400 million baht each,” he said.

“Overpasses would spoil the beautiful view in these areas even though they would be cheaper than building underpasses,” he added.

Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit confirmed that the PM will come to Phuket on August 25, but will stay on the island for only an hour. “The prime minister will arrive at Phuket International Airport at about 2 pm before leaving for Krabi,” he said.

The PM’s “pitstop” in Phuket is part of a tour of the south. On August 25, he will leave Ranong in the morning, stopping at Takuapa and then Khao Lak for lunch, before continuing to Phuket.

K. Winai said, “The plans that will be presented to the Prime Minister will be mostly road construction projects, namely a new road connecting Chalong with Patong, the expansion of Rattanakosin 200 Pi Rd [in Phuket City] at a cost of about 117 million baht, and the two underpasses on the bypass road.

“In addition, the Phuket office of the Royal Irrigation Department will apply for funding to clear and widen Klong Bang Yai at a cost of about 1.08 billion,” V/Gov Winai said.

However, he added, “I am not sure whether the Governor will be able to present all the proposed projects in the 10 minutes available, or if the Prime Minister will approve funding for any of the projects.”

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