PHUKET: The Phuket Marine Office chief today trounced rumors that the 240-million-baht budget for an airport-to-Patong “sea taxi” had been approved.
“I do not know how the rumor that it was already approved was spread,” Phuket Marine Office Chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut told the Phuket Gazette.
Director of the Marine Office 5 Wichai Khamkong plans to raise the issue of the budget for the project, known as “From The Boat to The Plane” (story here), at a meeting with the Marine Department Director-General on Friday.
“We asked for the project to be included in the Marine Department’s 2015 fiscal budget. However, it has yet to be approved by the Cabinet,” Mr Wichai said. “Our project is not in the minutes for the meeting, but I will raise the topic.”
Though the budget has yet to be approved, it is well supported by Marine Department Director-General Sorasak Saensombat, said Mr Wichai.
The project is meant to be an alternative route for tourists between the Phuket International Airport and Patong Beach.
“We really want to help alleviate the traffic problems on the island and offer tourists a better way of travelling from the airport to Patong,” Mr Wichai said.
“Tourists can enjoy sightseeing on the way there,” Mr Wichai added.
Mr Wichai estimates that the trip by speedboat would take approximately 25 minutes.
Once the budget is approved, the Phuket Marine Office will again contact relevant parties to further develop the plan.
— Chutharat Plerin