Connect with us


Phuket’s Road to Freedom under fire for corruption

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Winai Chidchiew, the Subdistrict chief (Kamnan) for Kata-Karon, has lashed out over the project to build a new road to Freedom Beach, accusing local officials of trying to push the project through for their own benefit.

Kamnan Winai alleges that the road, planned for the headland south of Patong Bay (story here), is being pushed through by local officials who stand to profit from its creation.

The road would pass through private land, protected forest land, and SorPorKor government land.

“Those who own private land in the area will benefit because land values for plots alongside the new road will increase,” Kamnan Winai told the Phuket Gazette.

“I would be happy to support the project if it were really needed by local residents, not just officials or investors,” he added.

Kamnan Winai made the accusation at the second public hearing for the project, on October 15.

About 50 people turned out to hear the revised plans and voice their opinions.

The project passed its first public hearing on July 30.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbal, who has volunteered some of his own land for the project, defended the project at the October 15 meeting.

“I think this road will benefit all people and will become a new tourist attraction where people can take photographs and and enjoy the beautiful view… That’s why I gave some of my land for it to be built,” he said.

Mr Chairat said he saw three main objectives to be achieved by building the road: a tsunami evacuation route would be created for the people of Tri Trang Beach; motorists from Patong would have an alternative route to head south; and a public recreation and exercise area would be created for residents to use.

“But the local residents have to vote to support it. If they do not approve it, then the project will not go ahead,” Mr Chairat assured.

Kamnan Winai was steadfast in his opinion that the real purpose of the road was financial.

“Supporters claim that this project is for the benefit of local residents, but it isn’t,” he said.

“Private investors are the ones with the real interest. If the government didn’t provide funds to build the road, I’m sure the municipality could easily find investors to fund it privately,” he said.

Kamnan Winai said the only factor holding up the project from being railroaded through was the level of clearance required for the road to cross protected forest and SorPorKor land.

The Royal Forestry Department must grant permission for the road to traverse the protected forest in the area, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment in Bangkok must grant permission for the road to cross SorPorKor land, which is government land allocated to local people so they may farm – and farm only – in order to maintain an income.

“Many officers want this road approved, but all of them have failed because sections of it need to cross protected forest,” Mr Winai alleged

— Saran Mitrarat


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 mins ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 2,804 new infections and 18 Covid-related deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

With nearly 60% of their population vaccinated, why is Chile’s Covid rate surging?

Tourism14 hours ago

Pattaya October reopening hampered by obstacles

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Thong Lor again: 31 arrested in club violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Pfizer vaccine application received, review process begun

Visa18 hours ago

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths, provincial totals

Thailand19 hours ago

Red tape and restrictions suggest a slow Phuket reopening

Phuket19 hours ago

UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen

Tourism20 hours ago

Koh Samui eyes August 1 reopening, “Samui Sealed Route”

Weather21 hours ago

Village need rain? Have you considered a giant penis?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

8.3% of Thailand’s 50 million vaccine target reached so far

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Site launched for June 14 vaccine signup for all foreigners

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Free quarantine accommodation for arriving Thais to be cancelled

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8