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No go: Phuket road projects stalled

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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No go: Phuket road projects stalled | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: Two controversial road projects slated for Phuket face indefinite delays and the province is already seeking alternatives, the Gazette has learned.

A high-ranking source in the Department of Rural Roads said plans to complete a road connecting Nanai Road in Patong to Chalong have stalled, as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) failed to sign off on the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) proposal.

Completion of the road, currently a treacherous dirt path, would have required the use of hilly ‘Zone C’ Forest Department land.

Also failing to be granted EIA approval was the plan to complete a 600-meter stretch of road connecting Saphan Hin and Sakdidet Road Soi 7.

The project has been on hold since 2003, when the MNRE denied approval of construction though protected mangrove forest in the low-lying area known as Koh Phi, which is also home to the island’s trash incinerator and landfill.

Completion of the road, which would greatly reduce commuting time between Saphan Hin and Wichit, has been the subject of intense lobbying in Bangkok by Phuket MPs and Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-ngop in recent months.

Faced with what appears to be an indefinite delay in the EIA process, the province may now try to use 26 million baht in funding originally earmarked for the Patong-Chalong road for construction of a new road connecting Chao Fah East Road to Sakdidet Rd Soi 1 in Saphan Hin, the source said.

If approved, the new road would start at the entrance to the Mineral Resources Center, opposite Suan Luang Park, and run though to the cluster of government offices near the Phuket Labor Office at Saphan Hin.

The four-lane concrete road would be 694 meters long and come with a median strip and bicycle path, the source said.

Land acquisition would not be a problem as the 12 rai needed for construction are under the control of the incinerator and landfills State Property Management and Services Office. The Rural Roads Department could finish the road within six months of approval.

Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, who just returned from Bangkok, is scheduled to hold a press conference on the topic tomorrow (Monday) morning, the source added.

— K. Pornmongkhonwat & S. Fein



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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