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Patong split over tunnel plan

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Patong split over tunnel plan | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Patong residents are divided over the controversial plan to bore a road tunnel under Patong Hill, a recent public hearing revealed.

Local residents voiced their opinions on April 27 when a public hearing on the issue was held at the Phuket Graceland Resort.

Around 700 residents, municipal officers from Patong and Kathu, the project development team and other stakeholders attended the hearing.

Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, who chaired the hearing, said the tunnel was needed for both infrastructure and safety reasons.

The tunnel is a ‘necessary facility to welcome tourists’ that will facilitate traffic flow between Kathu and Patong and prevent up to 500 road accidents each year, he said.

At the meeting, local residents listened to development plans presented by a project study team made up of members from Epsilon Co Ltd, PlanPro Corp Ltd, and the Energy and Environmental Engineering Center (EEEC).

The team presented a progress report on their feasibility study of six possible routes under consideration. Criteria included funding and engineering factors, as well as projected effects on the local economy, traffic flow and environment. Social factors and the level of public participation were also considered.

Taking all these into account, the team announced its recommendation: two 1.17-kilometer tunnels with elevated roads at both ends.

One tunnel would be for two lanes of westbound traffic, the other for two lanes eastbound.

Approaching Patong Hill from Kathu, traffic would divert near the Go Kart Speedway on Phra Barami Road (Route 4029) onto an elevated road leading up to the tunnel.

Traffic would emerge on the Patong side onto a 204-meter-long elevated road that would pass over Phisit Gorani Road in Baan Mon and connect to Phang Muang Sai Kor Rd near the APK apartment complex.

Around 300 of those in attendance, mostly business operators, rallied around a cloth banner that read: ‘We support the tunnel project’.

However, opposed to the proposal were a similar number of Baan Mon residents sporting T-shirts with ‘Baan Mon doesn’t want the tunnel’ printed on the back.

The tunnel would adversely affect the community, with some families having to give up their land for construction of the elevated roadway that would pass over parts of their village, they said.

Another point was that the proposed path of the elevated road was over the Ratchapathanusorn (the National Memorial of His Majesty The King’s Footprint) on Phisit Gorani Road.

The site commemorates HM The King’s visit to Patong on March 11, 1959.

Villagers were also concerned about the toll fees to cover the construction cost of the tunnel, which is estimated to exceed one billion baht.

Assistant project manager Siriprapha Ratiwat said that disagreements will be noted in the report. The next step is be to examine possible effects on the local community and hold meetings with villagers, she said.

“In November we will conclude our study and submit our report to Patong Municipality. Then it’s up to the people of Patong to decide whether or not they want this project,” she said.

For an in-depth report, pick up a copy of the Phuket Gazette on newsstands this Saturday.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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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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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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