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Kalim residents beg police to have mercy on taxi stands

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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 on 

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PHUKET: More than 100 local villagers today begged officials to stop demolishing illegal taxi stands in Kalim.

“We have been here for 18 years and got permission from former Patong Mayor Pian Keesin,” emotional tuk-tuk driver Adisorn Maneesri told the Phuket Gazette.

“We understand why they are doing this, because of all the problems with taxis, but please understand that we are working legally.”

More than 100 Patong Police and Patong Municipality officers arrived in Kalim at about 10am today to tear down four illegal taxi stands as part of the west-coast sweep initiated by the Army on Wednesday to purge the island of illegal taxis.

“Local taxi drivers contributed 150 baht each to build this stand 18 years ago. It hurts us to see our valuable property destroyed like this,” Mr Adisorn said.

“Almost everyone who uses this stand is older than 40. We use it to relax, and we like to invite tourists to sit here while they are waiting to be picked up.

“We don’t know where we are going to relax while we wait for customers now that the booth is gone.”

Newly instated Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsab sympathized with the villagers and said she would do whatever she could to help.

“We understand where they are coming from, but we must clear illegal taxi stands from Patong’s public areas,” she said.

“Do not worry about the booths. We will set up new ones in better locations. After we clear the illegal stands out of Patong, we will call together all taxi drivers to find a solution together.”

The date for such a meeting has yet to be set.

Meanwhile, the Gazette has confirmed reports that the illegal taxi stand tear-down has reached Rawai Beach, at the southern end of the island.

“We will scour the island area by area. We will tear down any illegal taxis we find. We have to,” Lt Gen Panya Mamen, Commander of Royal Thai Police Region 8 division, told the Gazette.

— Woranut Pechdee

 

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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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