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PM Prayut pauses hotly-debated Krabi power plant project

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PM Prayut pauses hotly-debated Krabi power plant project | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the hotly-debated coal-fired power plant project in Krabi to be put on hold until a joint committee can ensure that all steps of the pre-construction process have been legally carried out.

The prime minister’s order ended a 14-day protest yesterday in Bangkok.

About 100 Krabi residents and environmental activists had gathered to demand a reply from the prime minister over their call to postpone the project’s bidding, The Nation reported.

Anti-coal activist Prasitchai Noonual told The Nation that the protesters were pleased with the government’s decision to set up a joint committee to discuss, study and improve the plan to build the 800MW coal-fired power plant in Krabi.

Krabi Provincial Administration Organization Vice President Kittichai Angchuan told the Phuket Gazette today that he is also impressed by the prime minister’s move, which will allow local residents to be more involved in the project.

“Our two weeks of protesting ended when PM Prayut put the project on hold. It will be on hold until it is clear that the Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] report has passed through every step of the legal process,” said Mr Kittichai.

“We are happy with the result of our actions. The project is on hold and we are now a part of the project’s standing committee. I’m glad PM Prayut listened to us.”

Mr Kittichai said that the 100-person-strong protest started in front of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports before moving in front of the Government House.

“Krabi residents Prasittichai Noonual and Akkaradet Chakjinda even fasted in Bangkok for the entire 14 days. They were calling on government to look deeper into the plan for the power plant,” Mr Kittichai added.

“We do not think Krabi needs this power plant. We can produce enough power to support the southern provinces without it.”

Mr Kittichai said that a date had yet to be set to discuss the project further.

“We will keep an eye on all parties involved to make sure that no one breaks this agreement,” he added.

The coal-fired power plant proposed for Krabi’s Nua Klong district has drawn much resistance from locals and environmental activists over the years.

In March 2014, Greenpeace staged a dramatic protest against the proposed plant by hanging from the cliffs of Railay Bay in Krabi (story here).

In September 2014, Mr Kittichai noted that the construction of the plant would damage Krabi’s wetlands, which are protected under the Ramsar Convention, The Nation reported (story here).

Not long after that, the Koh Lanta Tourism Association lashed out against the project, claiming that the initiating authority had been dishonest with locals (story here).

Another protest took place in October 2014, bringing hundreds of residents together at a public hearing for the project. The protesters claimed that the meetings were setups and locals were not being heard (story here).

One month later, local fishermen in Krabi joined the fight.

A horde of boats carrying angry villagers congregated at the Baan Klong Ruo pier in Nua Khlong in November 2014, wielding large signs that read: “Protect Krabi from coal-power plant” and waving green flags picturing dugong calling for “No coal” (story here).

However, in December of last year, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) ramped up its push for the plant (story here).

Then, as recently as March this year, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the plant project was rejected amid pressure from the Protect Krabi Network (story here).

— Chutharat Plerin

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

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket reports 12 new coronavirus cases, all from Patong

Greeley Pulitzer

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Phuket reports 12 new coronavirus cases, all from Patong | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Thaiger

The southern island province of Phuket confirmed 12 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus today (Thursday), bringing the total on the island to 87. All appear to have originated in the island’s Patong area, most from the Bangla Road red light district.

The town of Patong was placed on unofficial curfew yesterday as its governor issued a public decree urging residents to stay in their home at all costs, and promising delivery of necessities to those in need to keep them from venturing out.

The details of the new cases are…

Case 76: A 28 year old Thai woman, a restaurant owner in Patong. she has a history of contact with foreigners and visiting Bangla Road. She fell sick on March 20, 1 contact is considered at risk and is being sought by authorities.

Case 77: A Swedish woman, aged 52, a tourist who came to Thailand with her husband on March 13. She has history of visiting Bangla road, although she stayed a hotel in Karon. She became sick on March 21, 2 contacts are at high risk.

Case 78: A 26 year old Thai woman, a waitress in Patong who had close contact with foreigners and visited Bangla Road. She got sick on March 21, 2 contacts are at high risk.

Case 79: A 37 Russian woman, a tourist in Patong for more than a month. She has an alleged history of partying in Bangla Road and had contact with case 49, a Ukranian man. She became sick on March 20 and 1 other person is at high risk.

Case 80: A 30 year old woman from Kazakhstan, also a tourist in Patong for more than a month, who also had contact with case 49. 1 person is considered at high risk.

Case 81: A 48 year old Thai woman, masseuse in Patong at the same massage shop as cases 32 and 62. She fell sick on March 22 and 6 people are believed to be at high risk

Case 82: A 39 year old Thai man, a worker in a phone shop in a Patong mall. He has a history of close contact with foreigners and visited Bangla Road. He got sick on March 22, 7 people are at high risk.

Case 83: A 37 year old Thai woman, worked in the same Italian restaurant, as cases 59 and 60. High risk contacts total 15

Case 84: A 36 year old Thai man, a chef in Italian restaurant, who became sick on March 30. 12 people are at high risk.

Case 85: A 51 year old Thai woman, a waitress in same restaurant. She fell sick March 25, 13 people are thought to be at high risk.

Case 86: A 30 year old Thai man, a chef in same Italian restaurant, who got sick on Tuesday. Contacts at high risk number 13 people.

Case 87: A 32 year old Thai woman, a tour guide who had contact with a group of friends in Bangla Road. She got sick on sick on March 24, 5 people are at high risk.

Phuket has effectively sealed its borders by land and sea, and will close its airport on April 10 to all flights.

 

SOURCE: Ministry of Public Health

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Thailand

Bangkok Airways cancels all domestic flights from April 7

Anukul

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Bangkok Airways cancels all domestic flights from April 7 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook@FlyBangkokAir

Bangkok Airways has announced today that they will cancel all it domestic flights from April 7 – 30. The company’s vice president, Tresarum Sitakalin says the flights that are being cancelled are…

  1. Bangkok – Chiang Mai
  2. Bangkok – Phuket
  3. Bangkok – Trat
  4. Bangkok – Sukhothai
  5. Bangkok – Samui
  6. Samui – Phuket

“The company had previously decreased flight frequencies on these routes and also using some of their smaller ATR aircraft instead of their Airbus 320 aircraft.”

“From April 7 onwards until April 30, we will cancel all flights.”

Requesting for a refund can be done at www.bangkokair.com/refund or contact their ticketing offices at +662 270 6699 or Bangkok Airways Call Centre on 1771 . For passengers who purchased their tickets through travel agencies, please contact their travel agency directly.

SOURCE: The Nation

Bangkok Airways cancels all domestic flights from April 7 | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Urgent repatriation notice for Swiss and German citizens as immigration rules tighten

Greeley Pulitzer

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Urgent repatriation notice for Swiss and German citizens as immigration rules tighten | The Thaiger

An urgent repatriation notice has been issued for Swiss and citizens in Thailand. According to Richard Barrow’s Twitter feed, flights are being urgently chartered to evacuate citizens of both nations: A notice posted on the Embassy of Switzerlad’s website reads…

For Swiss travellers in Thailand: Swiss charter flights from Thailand to Switzerland/update…

Bangkok – Zurich
– Good news: seats are still available for a 2nd charter on Sunday April 5 (at 13:05). To register, please send the requested information below for all concerned passengers to: bangkok.bkk@eda.admin.ch -> Deadline: Thursday April 2, 20:00

Phuket – Zurich
– The charter flight is now confirmed for Thursday, April 2, at 23:35. People who have registered will receive a confirmation soon.
– Good news: a few seats are still available. To register, please send the requested information below for all concerned passengers to bangkok.hkt@eda.admin.ch ->

Requested information to be sent…

1. Point of departure: Bangkok or Phuket
2. Family name, first name(s)
3. Date of birth
4. Passport number/Residence permit in Switzerland
5. Validity date of the passport or residence permit in Switzerland
6. Phone number where you can be reached at any time

• Please note that no health certificate is required to board on these flights. However, people with Covid-19 related symptoms are not allowed to travel. More information on these flights is available on our website (www.eda.admin.ch/bangkok)

A similar notise was posted for German nationals…

Urgent repatriation notice for Swiss and German citizens as immigration rules tighten | News by The Thaiger

Due to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, travel restrictions and requirements in Thailand are sometimes difficult to navigate. One netizen told The Thaiger this morning that Immigration officials in Hua Hin were demanding the following for an extension of stay…

  • Application form (TM.7)
  • Fee 1,900 baht
  • 2 photographs (passport photo)
  • Copy of applicant’s passport (Data page, Visa page, Stamp page, TM6 card)
  • Letter of confirmation and request for a temporary stay from the embassy and consulate in Thailand
  • Proof of address: In case stay at Hotel – Letter of confirmation of stay from hotel – Hotel booking – Photograph of foreigner at hotel 2-3 pictures. In case rent a house/condominium – Rental agreement – Copy of Lessor’s ID card and copy of Lessor’s house book – Copy of house book from where you rent – Photograph of foreigner at house/condominium 2-3 pictures
  • In case of foreigner own the property – Copy of a house book – Copy of Title deed – Photograph of foreigner at the property 2-3 pictures
  • Map from house to immigration
  • Note: Foreigner must prepare all documents for 2 copies

SOURCES: Twitter | Embassy of Switzerland

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