Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket’s convention center, slammed by a report, now on hold

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Phuket’s decades-old dream of having a world-class convention center took a leap backward on Wednesday when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) issued an Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report that highlighted numerous environmental and financial flaws in the project.

A source at the MNRE Office of Policy and Planning (OPP) told a Prachachat reporter that his agency submitted the project IEE results to the Finance Ministry’s Treasury Department on Wednesday.

According to the source, the site chosen in Mai Khao was deemed unsuitable because the area is a traditional sea turtle nesting site.

The area is also home to one of the few remaining reserves of semi-virgin coastal forest on the island and should therefore be preserved, the IEEE reported.

Additionally, the seabed offshore from the project site drops off quickly, which makes it inappropriate for recreational activities.

The IEE also stated that the project was unfeasible and would create a burden on the government over the long term because it lacked clear economic, social and tourism benefits.

It was also unclear how many jobs would be created for local people, especially given Phuket’s huge migrant worker population.

Finally, the IEE noted that the completed project would be in direct competition with private sector investments on the island, Prachachat reported.

Areepong Bhoocha-oom, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, noted that the project was already granted 2.6 billion baht under the second rollout of funds under the previous government’s Thai Khem Khaeng (“Strong Thailand”) stimulus package for fiscal 2012.

As such, the project could still go forward without a loan provided by the Treasury Department, Mr Areepong said.

The project is now under consideration by the National Environment Board (NEB), he explained.

The 23-member NEB is now chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, a vice-president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said he was unaware of the latest development, but indicated that it would come as little surprise to the local tourism industry if the project were scuttled by the new government.

However, that would be a shame given all the work that had been put into the planning, he said.

“About 65% to 70% of the planning work has been completed and the public hearing process is complete, with changes made as a result.

“The conclusions have been summarized and were just waiting for the budget to go ahead,” he said.

The specific findings reported in the IEE did not matter much because the new government would just cite any reason they wanted when the real issues were political, he said.

The recent removal of national police chief Wichean Potephosree was the same type of politically-motivated move, he said.

— Stephen Fein

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Cannabis2 mins ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri11 mins ago

Chon Buri man with no trousers on crashes his car into power pole

Entertainment20 mins ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Sponsored5 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand22 mins ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World50 mins ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime53 mins ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand56 mins ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs1 hour ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand1 hour ago

Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital needs urgent blood donations after mass shooting

Crime2 hours ago

BREAKING: Nursery mass shooter shoots dead wife and child before killing himself

Central Thailand2 hours ago

Meditation retreat in lush garden setting coming up in central Thailand

World2 hours ago

Death of 66 children linked to an Indian cough medicine

Crime2 hours ago

BREAKING: at least 32 dead in mass shooting at nursery in northeast Thailand

Drugs3 hours ago

Drug traffickers and rangers swapped gunfire on Thai-Burmese border

Myanmar3 hours ago

Strong emotions and tea on the Myanmar border

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending