Connect with us

Phuket

Patong split over tunnel plan

Published

 on 

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

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 hours ago

Woman goes bananas after children steal her fruit and sues them for 24,000 baht

China2 hours ago

China says Covid has weakened as it announces loosening of strict policies

Thailand2 hours ago

Dog carries baby’s corpse out of a forest in eastern Thailand

Sponsored1 day ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Events2 hours ago

Travis Scott to headline Rolling Loud Thailand festival

Thailand3 hours ago

9 year old boy rescued after falling into 2-metre deep well

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sexy Thai model exposed as an identity thief and transwoman

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
South3 hours ago

Whale washes up on beach in South Thailand

Transport3 hours ago

Last jumbo – the last Boeing 747 leaves the gate

Weather3 hours ago

Bangkok could hit lows of 18°C next week

Thailand3 hours ago

Geminids meteor shower predicted to hit Thailand on December 14 

Crime4 hours ago

Kuwaiti overstayer busted in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

Thailand4 hours ago

What next for Bali as Indonesia bans sex?

Thailand4 hours ago

Jailed politician erects billboard to wish voters Happy New Year

Thailand4 hours ago

Beastly reptile crocs the world of small village in southern Thailand

Pattaya5 hours ago

Pattaya officials continue to struggle with homeless problem

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending