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Phuket officials plan walking street, gated entrance at Surin

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket officials plan walking street, gated entrance at Surin | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A year after the demolition of the last remaining buildings along Surin Beach, and nine months after plans were announced to convert the beach into ‘Rajabhakti Park’, officials are still waiting for approval for the more than 800-million-baht project to be built in its place.

The plans, which have been revised several times, were submitted by the Cherng Talay Administration Organization (OrBorTor) to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) Phuket Office earlier this month.

“At this stage, we have yet to receive a response from MoTS. I cannot say when the plans will be approved, but everything has been submitted from our end,” said Cherng Talay OrBorTor President Ma-ann Samran.

“However, while waiting for the ministry’s decision, we are working to arrange 18 million baht for two projects, which we expect will be completed before the next high season comes around.”

The projects include a gate surrounding the beach as well as improvements to the general landscape in the area.

“I can’t deny that there are still problems at Surin. For instance, vendors are still setting up umbrellas and chairs despite the fact that it is illegal. However, we are doing our best to gradually solve these issues,” said Mr Ma-ann.

The budget for the slated gate is about 8mn baht.

“Building a gate is an effective way to make Surin well-organized and provide security for tourists and locals. With marked entrances, officers can control who enters the beach, and will be able to prevent vendors from illegally setting up umbrellas and beach chairs there,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“So far, vendors have been able to elude authorities and set up umbrellas and mattresses on the sand. We have never ignored this issue; the vendors have been arrested and punished accordingly. However, it is not something we want tourists to witness. I think the gate will provide a permanent solution to prevent vendors from conducting illegal businesses on the beach,” he added.

While waiting for budget finalization and approval, the OrBorTor has asked the military to step in and patrol the beach, starting Monday.

“At the moment, we still have no gate, so we have to rely on human resources. The OrBorTor does not have enough officers, so we had to bring in outside help. Let’s see who dares to bring umbrellas to the beach now,” said Mr Ma-ann.

The second project, which is beautifying and improving the landscape, is a back-up plan, in case the Rajabhakti Park plan takes longer than anticipated to approve.

“We intend to use about 10mn baht of our own budget to clear and establish park land and flower gardens on about 100 rai,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“The money will also be used to beautify the entire stretch of beach. We intend to turn it into a walking street and allow local vendors to sell their wares there from Thursday to Sunday night every week. This will not only help locals, but also provide a new attraction at Surin. However, the most important rule to remember is that the walkway has to be cleared every morning,” he added.

In further news about the ever-blighted Surin, Mr Ma-ann says that due to improved water treatment systems, there is no longer any black wastewater at Surin Beach.

“We will use the treated water to grow grass and plants in the area,” he adds.

He also confirms that since the demolition of restaurants and bars along the beach, not a single restaurant owner has returned to the area or disobeyed the law.

“No restaurants have been allowed to operate here, but we do allow ‘small’ vendors to sell food and drinks from salaengs (motorbike sidecars) near the beach. It does not look ‘too bad’ and helps the locals make a living. However, once the walking street is finished, we will ask all these vendors to move there,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“Unless we take immediate action, Surin Beach will be seized back by the vendor mafia. We are fighting to reclaim it for the public instead,” he insists.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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Crime

Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills

The Thaiger

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Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: เหยี่ยวข่าว ภูเก็ต Newshawk Phuket

Thalang Police have arrested a local drug dealer with more than 192 amphetamine pills. Thalang police in Phuket arrested 29 year old Wimon Songkong from Nakhon Si Thammarat with 192 amphetamine pills that he was carrying when they nabbed him in front of a 7-Eleven store inside a PTT gas station on Thepkasattri Road, in Thalang District.

The amphetamine pills were packed in a black zip-lock plastic bag, which was hidden in his grey shoulder bag. Two of the pills were green and 190 of them were orange, while each pill had the letters ‘wy’ printed on them.

Wimon was charged for possessing and trading illicit drugs and was sent to Thalang police station for further investigation and processing.

STORY: Newshawk Phuket

Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills | News by The Thaiger

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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