PHUKET TOWN: The Governor of Phuket has asked local landowners to donate 100 rai of land for the construction of an international convention and exhibition center (CEC). The call by Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi came at a meeting held this afternoon in the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization chamber. Also present at the meeting were representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Branch, the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, the Phuket Treasury Office, and other officials. Already, three corporations have expressed interest in donating land. The Gazette has been told that they are Thai Wah Development, Anuphas & Son, and Phuket Paradise. Local officials initially pinpointed five government-owned sites as possibilities for the center: Saphan Hin and the area around the Provincial Mineral Resources Office in Phuket Town; Surin Beach; the area near the Sirinart National Park in the north of the island; and Kao Khad Hill near Ao Makham. But it was pointed out that all five of these areas have problems. Some suffer from illegal encroachment, while others lack public utilities or roads capable of handling the additional traffic. Some are too far from Phuket Town and some would be likely to arouse public opposition. While these problems were not insoluble, the meeting agreed that it would be wise to look for additional potential locations. “Therefore, we are offering private-sector landowners the chance to donate 100 rai for the site,” said Gov Pongpayome. “I think it would be a good thing for an owner who has a piece of unused land. Once the center is complete, any land next to the site would be ripe for development, allowing the owner to make big profits,” he explained. The donor of the land would not be expected to put money into developing the CEC, he added; the funds for that would come from the central government. “Anyone interested in donating land should contact my office, the TAT or the Provincial Administration Organization,” he said.
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