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Phuket Gov pushes for ‘ring road’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET CITY: Phuket’s Governor continues to push for new road projects on the island, the latest a ‘ring road’ though the east side of Phuket Town connecting Wichit and Rasada.

Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop told a meeting of provincial department heads on Tuesday that he is hoping the controversial Klong Koh Pee (‘Ghost Canal’) Road project will get the green light soon.

Planned over a decade ago and partly completed at that time, the project has attracted controversy because it involves clearing protected mangrove forest that falls under the jurisdiction of the Royal Forestry Department.

For our previous reports click here and here.

Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngob in August said he met personally with PM Abhisit Vejjajiva to lobby for permission to build the road and that PM Abhisit looked favorably on his proposal.

However, Phuket City Municipality was asked to revise the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project. The revised EIA was sent to the EIA review panel in Bangkok on December 23. The board is scheduled to meet and discuss the EIA on January 22.

Governor Wichai said that if members of the EIA committee were familiar with the Klong Koh Pee area and the hardships local people suffer for lack of the road they would approve the project.

“If they lived here they would understand the four rai area [of mangroves] that will be lost for the road will be more than compensated for in terms of local economic development, fuel savings, residents’ attitudes and mental health. Local villagers and the students of the Chalermprakiat Somdejprasrinakarin Phuket School really need this road,” he said.

“We can plant 40 rai of new mangroves elsewhere to compensate for the four rai that will be lost. I am praying that the EIA passes the review committee and Cabinet approves the project,” he said.

If approved, the 600-meter stretch of road would be a key step towards creating a ‘ring road’ that would cut commuting time between Wichit and Rasada, he said.

The road would begin off Sakdidet Rd in Wichit, then connect to Saphan Hin using the new road.

Another section of road that would need a lot of work is the narrow lane that runs along Tongkah Harbour Public Company Limited landholdings, connecting Saphan Hin with Nimit Circle. Currently just six meters across, it is barely wide enough for two-way traffic..

Gov Wichai would like to widen this section of road to the same width as Sakdidet Rd, which has two lanes in each direction.

From Nimit Circle the ring road would run north past Hatchana Nivet Village on Anuphas Phuket Kan Road, then past the fire station on Ratsadanusorn Road, ending at Rasada Municipality.

The ring road would bring great benefits at minimal costs, Gov Wichai said.

“Property prices will increase and people will have a new route. At present the area near Tunka Harbor is full of crickets, reptiles and deserted houses. As long as I am around I will try to change the area for the better,” Gov Wichai said.

The area was formerly the site of major tin mining operations, the tailings from which were used to help create Saphan Hin, almost all of which is reclaimed land.

Phuket Town’s original coastline was in the area that is now home to Bang Neaw Shrine and Robinsons department store.

Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwanasupana told the meeting she supports the idea of a ring road, saying it would improve traffic flow and tourism.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Stephen Fein

 

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

Phuket

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo by PR Phuket

No, your friends can’t come over. No parties. No drinking with friends. No large gatherings. As part of Phuket’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, local authorities have tightened restrictions and say friends are not allowed to gather at private homes.

“No parties of any kind allowed… No house party, no friends gathering in the residence.”

Along with temporary closures of some businesses and venues, the order says, parties involving alcohol are banned and gatherings of more than 30 people are banned. The only gatherings allowed are religious ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

Foreigners who violate any of Phuket’s disease control measures could be deported and lose their permission to stay in Thailand. On Sunday, 2 British men in Phuket were each fined 6,000 baht for having a “party.” Only 6 people were gathered at the home. Police from the Cherng Talay station came by the home after a call from a neighbour.

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Road deaths

Phuket woman impaled by steel rod in motorbike accident

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: CCTV footage shows the Woman impaled in a motorbike crash.

Police were called to the scene of a gruesome motorbike accident just after midnight in the Kathu area of Phuket, where a woman was impaled by a steel rod. The 34 year old woman crashed her motorbike into a concrete power pole on Wichit Songkram Rd between the Kathu Shrine and Kathu Municipality. rescue workers responded, and together with police, they arrived to find the woman still hanging from the power pole.

Khanuengnit Onoaun was driving a black and pink Honda Click motorbike and may have been speeding just before being impaled by the rod on the electric pole. Her motorbike was lying nearby the pole with significant damage to the front of the bike and the front wheel.

CCTV footage recovered from the scene suggest that the woman may have fallen asleep and crashed into the power pole. The pole had steel rods protruding from its side that utility workers use to climb when service or repairs are needed to the electrical lines, which is what impaled her when her motorbike hit the pole.

The metal rod pierced the woman’s upper chest and went all the way through her body with about 2 inches exposed on the other side of her as she hung from the pole. Rescue workers could not remove her from the steel rod at the scene of the accident safely and instead chose to cut the rod to take her off the electric pole and into an ambulance. Cutting through the steel took about 5 minutes for the rescuers.

She arrived and was admitted into Vachira Phuket Hospital with the metal rod still impaled through her chest. The hospital had no updates about the woman’s condition after her motorbike crash other than that she is alive and receiving treatment currently. The police plan on questioning her once she has had time to recover and investigating the incident further if necessary.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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