Governor relaxes jet-ski ban

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit has backed down from the province’s policy to gradually phase out jet-skis at Phuket beaches and is now allowing owners of registered jet-skis to replace old or inoperable vessels with new ones.

Karon Municipality filed a complaint with the Governor following the arrest of 36 people found to be operating unregistered jet-skis in Karon in early February.

In March 2004, former Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi ordered a ban on new jet-ski registrations, hoping that as existing jet-skis aged and became inoperable, their numbers would gradually be reduced, with a complete ban going into effect in March 2011.

There were 219 registered jet-skis at the time the ban went into effect, all at Patong, Karon, Kamala and Bang Tao beaches.

However, in a meeting with related government agencies at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon, Governor Niran agreed to allow owners of registered jet-skis to replace their old or broken machines with new ones.

The order directly contradicts the intent of the 2004 order by K. Pongpayome, now Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior.

At yesterday’s meeting, representative of the the Marine Police and several local administrative bodies agreed that:

– The total ban on jet-skis would still go into effect March 4, 2011;

– Jet-skis must comply with all regulations imposed by local administration organizations; and

– The Marine Department will accept no new jet-ski registrations apart from those made in replacement of registered boats being decommissioned.

Phuket News

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