PHUKET: The power cables along the Patong beach road will go underground, the party town’s Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup has confirmed.
The Patong Municipality Council finally agreed at a meeting on Tuesday how to source the required funds, a sticking point that saw councilors deny approval for the project twice earlier this year.
“We have informed the Provincial Electricity Authority [PEA] that we now have the funds,” Mayor Chalermluck told the Phuket Gazette.
“Our next main concern is the start date for the project, which will see power cables along three kilometers of beach front on Thaweewong Road installed underground.
“It will take six months to complete, but it will not be done during the tourism high season.”
Mayor Chalermluck last month lashed out at “rogue councilors” for blocking the project, saying, “We need the councilors to approve it. They’ve got to have better reasons for stopping it than voting against me just for the sake of politics.”
In response, councilor Weerawit Krueasombut explained to the Gazette, “The council supports the project, but we will not sacrifice the town’s kindergarten-expansion plans or disaster-relief fund in order to beautify the Patong beachfront [story here].”
The project is supported by about 200 million baht dedicated from a previous national budget, Mayor Chalermluck previously explained to the Gazette.
But the PEA could not hand over the funds until Patong Municipality came up with about 77 million baht of its own to contribute.
Explaining the news to the Gazette today, Mr Weerawit said that the funds needed – in excess of 36mn baht – will now come from extra reserves held over from smaller projects that had been cancelled.
“The councilors were happy with this, and approved the project,” he said.
— Natthaphol Wittayarungrote