Phummisak challenges Gov over water supplies

PHUKET: Former Phuket City Mayor and tin mine owner Phummisak Hongsyok has dismissed Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura’s assertion that he will use the law to force owners of private water resources to share them with the province if there is a water shortage this year.

K. Phummisak, who owns two flooded former tin mines with a total capacity of three million cubic metres, from which come two-thirds of Phuket City’s water, stressed yesterday that his mines, and others like them, were private property, which the Governor did not have the authority to seize.

He said, “The Governor has said he will fill the mines, or fine owners [who don’t share water] 5,000 baht.

“The law states that a tin mine owner is allowed to keep only the last tin mine in the tin mine concession and the rest are to be filled in. If not, the mine owner will be fined 5,000 baht per mine.

“How can the Governor prove after 20 years which is the last one? It takes a long time to check that. He should not shoot his mouth off so quickly.”

He continued, “The Governor needs to take time to study the law on this matter. He hasn’t had the time to learn about how the private sector and local government organizations have helped each other.

“What he said upset me – for more than 30 years, the owners of privately-owned tin mines supplied water free of charge, but while the local authorities are aware of this, the Governor isn’t.”

K. Phummisak announced last August that, after decades of supplying water free, he would, with effect from May this year, charge the city around 2 baht a cubic meter.

Phuket News
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