PHUKET: An eviction order to move taxi drivers from Phuket’s main bus terminal in Rassada has been put on ice until after the Songkran holiday, a vice governor has confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.
The news follows a meeting chaired by Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthriak on April 8 in response to a request lodged by 30 taxi drivers for intervention into the order, which would have forced them to cease operations at the bus terminal by April 10 (story here).
“The reasons behind the eviction order issued by Rassada Municipality was unclear. Therefore, we voided the April 10 deadline. Taxis can operate there as normal for the time being,” Vice Governor Somkiet explained.
“We will settle the issue in another meeting, which will be held after Songkran.”
Rassada Mayor Phudit Raksarat chalked up the situation to a misunderstanding.
“In the letter I sent out to the taxi drivers, I simply said that they would need to move to a different area of the terminal. I did not mean to chase them away,” Mr Phudit explained. “I suppose this was not clearly stated in the letter.”
Mr Phudit explained that his intention is to re-organize the terminal so that it meets international standards.
“The taxi drivers always park where the buses park, which sometimes causes problems when the buses need to move. The drivers also sometimes cook and dress improperly, which makes the area look less organized,” he explained. “Regardless, I am glad that all sides have come together to find a solution to this problem.”
The Governor’s Office has ordered Rassada Municipality to come to the next meeting, for which a date has yet to be set, with a clear outline of the bus terminal re-organization.
“Rassada Municipality must be clear with its plan and the reasons why they want to make changes. They must present all of this information at the next meeting,” said V/Gov Somkiet.
“I have put together a committee to solve this problem. Members consist of municipal officers, officials from the Governor’s office and representatives from the taxi co-operative.
“We want the process to be fair to all sides.”
— Kongleaphy Keam