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Monorail proposal to be aired

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Monorail proposal to be aired | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A proposal to build a passenger monorail system in Phuket will undergo its first public hearing in February. The aim of the hearing is to allow discussion between those likely to be affected by the project and the consultancies responsible for the planning and routing of the monorail.

The proposed system would provide a route between the airport and Phuket City with a west coast route taking in the Patong area.

After ideas are gathered from the February meeting, a second public hearing is scheduled for April to consolidate the results of the initial brainstorming session.

About 80 people are expected to attend each meeting. Tawee Homhuan, Committee Member and Engineer at the Phuket Public Works and Town and Country Planning Office, commented: “We must ensure that we follow correct town planning regulations and make sure that any construction is done within the correct zones. “The hearings are set up to host 80 people,” he added.

He said, “Really, I think at least 800 people should attend,” but added that this was unlikely. In his experience, only a few dozen people would attend hearings, but when actual work started on a project, hundreds would turn out to protest its negative impact on their lives.

He also noted that the greatest potential problem with a project such as the monorail is that it would need to cross private land. He also pointed out that, in Phuket’s case and especially in Patong – where one rai of land can fetch up to 40 million baht – the government might not be able to afford to buy the land required.

Vice-Governor Niran Kalayanamit today chaired a committee meeting with the three monorail consultancies; Dr Tawatchai Laosirihongthong, Director of the Traffic and Transport Development and Research Center at the King Mongkut University of Technology in Thonburi; EO System Engineering Consultants; and Pyramid Development International Corp (PDIC).

PDIC is the architectural company responsible for Bangkok’s Mass Transit Railway.

At the meeting, public transport specialist Somprasong Satatiyamullay explained that a monorail would help solve much of Phuket’s traffic congestion, alleviate air pollution and reduce road accident statistics, as well as reducing tourists’ transport costs.

K. Somprasong said that the inception report would be compiled over a period of seven months, ending next May. The report will focus on seven aspects: legal feasibility; funding; planning; architectural design; environmental impact; engineering, and organizations involved in the project.

He also said that, in 2001, a request was sent to the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) to research alternative transport solutions for Phuket and to produce a feasibility study. The three consultancies then studied the PSU report and were drawn to the monorail solution.

He added, “At the moment about 90% of people on the island use their own vehicles, maybe because they feel that public transport is not reliable and possibly because it cannot meet demand.”

Dr Tawatchai added, “Phuket’s roadsides are lined with parked motorcycles and peddlers selling their wares as well as tuk tuks parked one after the other in Patong. There’s no parking space. Phuket is an international city, so visitors have high expectations as to the quality of life and services they will find here.”

He explained that, to make the monorail project successful, public and private investment returns would have to be studied, along with careful assessment of the project’s environmental impact to ensure minimal damage.

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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