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Patong-Kamala redevelopment to start this month

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Patong-Kamala redevelopment to start this month | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Work on the long-awaited Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) post-tsunami redevelopment projects for Patong and Kamala beaches will get under way in October, with first-phase landscaping work on both projects to be completed by the end of November, officials say.

On June 13, the TAT received approval from the Budget Bureau of 194.7 million baht for the three-phase Patong project and 96.7 million for the work at Kamala, which will be carried out in four phases.

Director of Patong’s Public Works Division, Suwat Boonchanawiwat, told the Gazette that the Phase I landscaping work in Patong should be about 60% complete by the end of November 2005.

The work involves removing what is left of Loma Fountain and other damaged structures along the beachfront and re-landscaping the area to serve as “multi-purpose” recreational area, with shade to be provided by newly-planted jittalay and raktalay trees. Six statues of the highly endangered leatherback turtle will line the walkways and serve as a showcase for the public park.

Also included in the work will be a large canvas-covered public pavilion, located on the beach behind the police box at the foot of Bangla Rd.

Other work will include putting up signs pointing out areas of interest to tourists and building new public bathhouses. New lifeguard towers, 4.8 meters in height, will be built along the beach, and signage indicating tsunami evacuation routes will be put up.

The project design work was by Bangkok-based firm Rafa Design Office Company Ltd, which accepted the work after the original contractor, SPA Architect Co Ltd, decided to terminate its contract with the TAT after a site visit, K. Suwat said.

Work will be carried out by sub-contractors hired by the municipality, he added.

Tambon Kamala Administration Organization (OrBorTor) President Jaran Sanrak said that the landscaping work there would include: clean-up and development of the banks of Klong Pak Bang to serve as a recreational area, increasing the number of tourist information signs, building public walkways, planting more trees and building a small park near Kamala School.

A modern sculpture incorporating a “wave” motif, with design provided by the Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, will be erected in front of the the Kamala Sanitation Office. Work on the project will begin in October, with expected completion in December, he said.

“Tourism is Phuket’s major source of revenue, so it’s worthwhile to spend this budget to beautify the area,” said the OrBorTor President, who faced heavy criticism for the OrBorTor‘s failure to clean up the area quickly enough after the tsunami.

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