Connect with us

Phuket

PHUKET OPINION: Patong-style wisdom faces the fragrance

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The plan by Patong Mayor Pian Keesin to install a fertilizer factory at the Patong Wastewater Treatment Plant must be heralded as good news. (See page 3, current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.)

Just the week before Mayor Pian made his announcement, the Gazette received reports of yet another “chocolate plume” emanating offshore from the treatment plant and snaking its way toward Kalim.

This latest plume was just more evidence that municipal efforts are unable to keep pace with the growing strain on the wastewater infrastructure and the town’s sewerage system. Any preparations to provide effective relief must be welcomed.

The motion carried by Patong Municipality to apply for the 65 million baht in budget needed to build the facility indicates tacit recognition by the authorities that the current sewerage system is not good enough. Residents and tourists have recognized it for many years as the stink is irrepressible. But one would not expect local administrators at any holiday destination in the world to advertise that poop was making its way to the plage.

But the fact that Patong Municipality is finally facing up to the feces is encouraging and deserves our support.

Of course there is so much more that could be done. In the Gazette‘s ‘Your Phuket’ society pages last week we ran a photo of young students at HeadStart International School making “EM” (“effective microorganisms”) balls to send to Bangkok to help break down the level of harmful bacteria floating in the flood waters.

EM balls are not new to Phuket’s efforts to deal with waste. Some areas have been doing it for years. Patong could follow their lead, particularly in the wake of the extremely adverse, but well deserved, worldwide publicity given the fecal pollution found on the sand and in the surf at Kata and Karon beaches by a German television crew who filmed it earlier this year.

If the fragrance over Kata and Karon taught us anything, it was that while people understand how development can outpace infrastructure, they do not understand or forgive a government when nothing is done about it and those responsible lurk in silence. Only acknowledgment and action can stave off the shame.

As one Gazette reader recently suggested in our ‘Island View’ column, a nominal “environment tax” could be collected from tourists arriving at the airport. Even a painless levy of 50 baht could have raised close to 200 million baht in 2011, given the roughly four million tourists who will have arrived on our island by the end of the year. Surely an amount this size would suffice to undermine any cries of “no budget”.

Corruption? Possible, but as the author of Island View so valiantly suggests, tourists don’t much care about our social ills so long as these ills don’t directly affect them. Just a clean beach and a pleasant holiday will suffice to send them home with the type of experience we’d like them to tell their friends about.

Patong knows this.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | AoT warns about tourist exuberance, easing of restrictions | June 22

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

CCSA: Bars to stay closed for now, drunk customers risk the spread of Covid-19

Bangkok9 hours ago

Woman dies after jumping from Phra Khanong BTS station in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

263 covid cases linked to canned seafood factory in Songkhla

Drugs10 hours ago

Narcotics Control Board announce recent drug busts, heroin and cocaine sent by mail

Environment10 hours ago

3 Cambodian activists arrested for plotting against the government/insulting the king after documenting waste run-off

Chiang Mai11 hours ago

Chiang Mai eases restrictions, alcohol now allowed at restaurants

Thailand11 hours ago

Angry ex allegedly sets motorcycle on fire in school parking garage

Cambodia11 hours ago

6 arrested in Cambodia for allegedly trafficking people into Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 4,059 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand12 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Samut Sakhon governor calls for more vaccine doses after order was cut

Thailand13 hours ago

Fruit buyer arrested for allegedly using counterfeit certificates to export durian

Tourism14 hours ago

Airports of Thailand president says tourism won’t pick back up until October

Thailand14 hours ago

Mobile sterilisation/vaccination truck helps Pattaya’s cats and dogs

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending