Connect with us

Phuket

Minister buries underground cable pleas

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PATONG: It appears unlikely that Patong will get the 350 million baht it wants for burying power cables, after Sports and Tourism Minister Pracha Maleenont sternly shot down a budget proposal for the project at a meeting on post-tsunami redevelopment.

The meeting, at the Graceland Resort and Spa on Wednesday, was held to discuss progress reports on tourism redevelopment efforts in the six tsunami-affected provinces.

As host – and the only province to be represented by its provincial Governor – Phuket was the first province to report to K. Pracha, who chaired the meeting.

Phuket Tourism Association Chairman Pattanapong Aikwanich mentioned that Patong’s last request for 350 million baht in central government funding to lay underground power cables had been rejected by former Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop, who was responsible for Phuket and Phang Nga Provinces after the tsunami.

However, he said, the local business community was very much in favor of the project, and Patong Municipality had already cleared a two-meter-wide path along the beach road to accommodate the subterranean cables.

“If we don’t go ahead with this project now, it will be very difficult to get it done in the future. We requested a budget from the government, and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) has agreed to budget 40 million baht, but we will need more than that,” he said.

He then turned over the floor to Patong Mayor Pian Keesin to make a budget request for the project, estimated at 350 million baht.

“Patong really needs to have underground cables. So if it’s possible, could the Office of Tourism Development provide 100 million baht and the Ministry of Sports and Tourism another 100 million? If the PEA could [increase its contribution] to 100 million, then Patong Municipality could pay the remainder.

“Could the Ministry please help us with just 100 million baht for this project?” he asked.

Mayor Pian then began to ask K. Pracha to help lobby the government to designate Patong as a “special tourism zone”, where entertainment venues would be allowed to remain open until 3 am or 4 am.

K. Pracha cut the mayor off in mid-flow. “Local administrations are always making requests for this and for that,” he said. “Please be aware of what the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is responsible for and what it can accomplish. You continually ask and ask, but the government still has other parts of the country to take care of.”

Former Phuket Chamber of Commerce Chairman Pamuke Archariyachai then suggested that finishing the national tsunami warning system by the start of the high season should be a top priority to restore confidence among foreign tourists.

He also asked the Ministry to promote the region in other Asian countries, because they are an important source of low-season tourists, and encouraged the Ministry to host a top-level sports tournament, such as an Asian Circuit golf tournament, that would bring well-heeled tourists to the island.

K. Pracha said he agreed with these ideas, but noted that the warning system would not likely be finished by September.

The other five provinces then presented their own progress reports. Many of these, such as Krabi Province’s request for funding to extend the runway at Krabi Airport, included a series of budget requests.

K. Pracha told the media after the meeting that most of the requests were more about infrastructure development than sports and tourism and, as such, should be submitted to other ministries.

However, he added, the redevelopment of Patong and Kamala remains the top policy objective at his Ministry.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Juthamas Siriwan, also present at the meeting, added that the TAT would finish the first phase of its redevelopment plan for Patong and Kamala by September as a “gift” to high-season tourists. The work involves landscaping areas along the tsunami-damaged beaches.

K. Juthamas said she expects hotel occupancy rates in the coming high season to average 70% to 80%.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand54 mins ago

Saturday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: full provincial totals

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket man finds 30 million baht surprise on beach: “whale poop”

Malaysia4 hours ago

Transgender who fled to Thailand faces extradition to Malaysia

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Update: 11,975 infections, 127 deaths

Thailand22 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand1 day ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand1 day ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia1 day ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather1 day ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending