Gov targets influential people

PHUKET: Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi has fired a shot across the bows of “influential people” in Phuket, vowing to act against them and against local officials who help them. He told the Gazette that he plans to target two groups of influential people – those who infringe on government land, and those who run the sunbed and umbrella businesses that have made it impossible to walk on some of Phuket’s beaches. In order to crack down on infringement, he explained, he will be targeting Tambon Administration Organizations (OrBorTor). “A new law has been passed giving OrBorTor more powers to deal with matters involving encroachment, noise, smell and mess in their areas. “They have always had the authority to act on these matters but few have done so, either out of fear or because the encroacher may be a friend, or because, in some cases, the OrBorTor may have come to an ‘agreement’ with the infringer. “But if both the OrBorTor and the infringer benefit from an agreement, I know that nothing will be done [to stop the encroachment]. So now, if OrBorTor officers fail to act on infringement, I will report them to the police, and then we shall see what happens.” He also outlined a plan for local authorities to buy out the sunbed businesses, then lease them out to poor people. “Many beaches are now unsightly because there are too many sunbeds and beach umbrellas. We would like to have beaches where there is enough room for people to walk along the sand. “We don’t want to see such businesses being run by influential people who make many millions of baht from them, so we are negotiating with the operators to get them to sell their businesses to the local authority for their area. “Local administration agencies will then lease the businesses out to poor people. We don’t expect to make a profit. “If the operators decline to sell their businesses to us, we will take the businesses away through the use of the law.”

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

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