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Protesters continue attack on Cherng Talay Tesco



Protesters continue attack on Cherng Talay Tesco | Thaiger

THALANG: With construction of the new Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market in Cherng Talay nearing completion, the development continues to be marred in controversy after representatives from Cherng Talay Municipality measured the area of the site on November 26 and declared the construction legal in a subsequent report.

Samarn Krohlek and Apisit Ngarnpresertkit, leaders of a local protest against the store, joined Thalang District Chief Chaiwat Tapee, members of the public and Thalang District Office representatives at Thalang District Office on November 28 to discuss the matter.

According to a 2004 ministerial regulation drawn up by the Ministry of Interior, individual supermarkets must cover a space between 300 square meters and 1,000sqm.

An initial report on the project filed by officers from Cherng Talay Municipality and the Phuket Office of Public Works and Town and Country Planning reported that the Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market is spread over 790.93sqm.

However, K. Samarn said that the total area of Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market is 1,278.23sqm, taking into account motorcycle and car parking areas.

Much of the parking area is covered by a roof, which K. Apisit said means that it should be included in the total area of the supermarket. When Tesco-Lotus first requested permission to begin construction, an area of 1,152sqm was declared, added K. Apisit.

“K. Chaiwat will take this case to the Governor once more,” said K. Apisit.

“I think we are also now ready to file a complaint at the Administrative Court. It will be faster and dealt with fairly. If we are wrong, then somebody should have given an answer on this issue, but nobody can tell us anything,” said K. Apisit.

On November 30, Thalang District Chief Chaiwat called on Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit to rule whether the construction violates the ministerial regulation. Gov Niran has yet to issue a statement.

He has also yet to clarify whether the issue falls under the jurisdiction of Cherng Talay Municipality or Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor).

Cherng Talay Municipality originally issued the building permit for the Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market, but ordered a halt to construction after residents staged a protest outside its offices. Meanwhile, building work continued.

Initially dubbed “Tesco-Lotus Express Cherng Talay”, a sign stating the official name as “Laguna Tesco Lotus Market Cherng Talay” was erected early November.

The Gazette contacted Tesco-Lotus for their explanation of the confusion. However, for the second time, the supermarket chain Corporate Affairs Department has declined to comment.

Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market have begun advertising for new employees to work at the store, although the latest activity at the site has been the erection of a large fence around the perimeter.

“I have heard that the next branches of this store will be built in Chalong, Wichit and Rawai and that they will be even bigger than the one in Cherng Talay,” said K. Apisit.


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