MAI KHAO: Three months after the villagers of Baan Kho En protested unsafe driving conditions along Thepkrasattri Rd by setting up a roadblock, officials and locals have agreed that the problem has been temporarily resolved, with no deaths along the stretch of road since the protest.
Villagers, however, are still awaiting proof that the government will widen the road as promised.
On July 10, a woman from the village was killed after she was knocked from her motorbike on a dangerous bend near the village.
The fatality, the most recent in a series of accidents along that curve in recent years, provoked villagers to block off the southbound portion of the island’s main artery for several hours with large tents.
The villagers agreed to disperse only after Vice-Governor Vorapot Rattasima promised that the government would widen the road at the bend.
Since then, Highway Department officials have negotiated with a local landowner to buy land needed to implement the project, and have installed speed bumps and cones to slow traffic.
However, Kho En Village Headman Somniuk Patee has told the Gazette that the problem has yet to be fully resolved.
“The government has installed cones and speed bumps to slow traffic for about one kilometer. This has helped us very much, and there have been no deaths on the bend. I and the villagers are very happy with the measures that the government has taken to solve the problem in the short term, but I would like [to see] action to widen the road as soon as possible,” he said.
Arunee Thammarangsi, an officer from the Phuket Highways Department, said the road widening will go ahead as planned, with the government waiting only for work estimates from contractors.
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