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Phuket convention center “a certainty’: DPM Korbsak

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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MAI KHAO, PHUKET: Phuket’s decades-old dream of having an international-class convention and exhibition center took another turn yesterday, when Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu toured the proposed project site in Mai Khao and suggested a number of changes to the latest plan.

Mr Korbsak, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs, reaffirmed that Cabinet has approved 2.6 billion baht in funding for the project.

However, the existing design may have to be changed depending of the results of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process, he said.

Mr Korbsak, a Democrat Party member, said he was unhappy with certain elements of the project design as presented by Pitak Direksuntorn, director of the Treasury Department’s State Property Management and Services Office, or Ratchapassadu.

Under the latest design, the project would be built on 150-rai of Treasury Department land at the island’s northern tip near Tah Chat Chai village.

The Treasury Department initially requested 3.74 billion baht for the project, Mr Pitak said.

When Cabinet approved just 2.6 billion baht the project needed to be scaled back, so one of four exhibition halls and a hotel were axed from the initial design, Mr Pitak explained.

“When we get the rest of expected budget, the fourth exhibition hall and hotel will be built,” he said.

Part of the 210-day EIA process involves a series of public hearings. When that is completed, the two-year construction period could begin, he said.

Under this time frame, if the EIA begins at the start of 2010, the project would be completed around July 2012.

Under the current plan, the construction would be carried out by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang campus.

After completion, contracts to administer the facilities would be awarded to private firms on a concessionary basis, Mr Pitak said.

Mr Korbsak questioned the reasoning behind putting a university in charge of construction.

He suggested using one of the five private-sector construction firms who tendered bids for construction of the new Parliament building in the capital instead.

“I think that would be more professional,” he said.

Mr Korbsak also expressed concern about the environmental impact of the project.

He questioned the need for an underground car park and a hotel at the site and said he felt saddened that the natural beauty of the area would diminished. He also asked that damage to existing vegetation be minimized.

“The project design should better match the existing landscape, perhaps with a small park or promenade for people to stroll on,” he said.

As for water supply, a source familiar with the project said the current plan is to pipe water from the Bang Neaw Dum in Srisoonthorn district, about 25 kilometers to the south.

After the visit Mr Korbsak traveled to Phuket Provincial Hall, where held meetings with representatives from a number of government organizations about the government’s controversial Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) scheme that he oversees.

“I know Phuket people really want the international convention center in Phuket…I guarantee it is going to happen. The project has already been passed the cabinet, so it can proceed even if the government changes.”

Asked whether the Mai Khao site would definitely be the location, Mr Korbsak said he was ‘1,000 percent’ certain it would.

The Mai Khao site has many detractors, who say it is too distant from the main population centers and could end up like the underused ‘Welcome Gate’ visitors’ center nearby.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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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

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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