Patong and Kamala revival budgets finally settled

PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) budget for renovation of Patong and Kamala has finally been settled, at 291.4 million baht, a source in the TAT’s Bangkok headquarters revealed yesterday.

The source, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette that the original landscaping plans, proposed in January, foresaw spending of 750 million baht for Patong and 600 million baht for Kamala. However, those figures were slashed by the central government in early March to 500 million baht and 300 million baht respectively.

In April the TAT recommended the budget be hacked again, to 200 million baht for Patong and 100 million for Kamala, and the government approved this budget on May 10. However, the source said, on June 13 the Budget Bureau trimmed the Patong landscaping budget to 194.7 million baht and the Kamala budget to 96.7 million, for a total of 291.4 million.

On August 1, the TAT commissioned SPA Architect Co to design the landscaping for Patong. Group 3 Design Co was approved by TAT Governor Juthamas Siriwan to develop the plans for Kamala.

According to the regulations of the Prime Minister’s Office, the companies chosen to design the landscaping will receive only 2% of the first million baht and 1.75% of the remainder of the project budget for their work – about 3.4 million baht for the Patong plan and 1.7 million for Kamala.

The TAT source observed, “It has been very difficult to find companies willing to take on a project because [at those prices] they would lose money. These two companies accepted because they wanted to help people affected by the tsunami.”

The landscaping is due to start at the end of this year.

Phuket News
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