Questions as waystop cost grows to B87m

PHUKET: The plan to build a two-million-baht police firearms depository at Tah Chat Chai on the main route into Phuket has ballooned into an 87-million-baht project to develop a major waystop, including a service station, a restaurant, and parking for 200 cars. But doubts are now being raised about the usefulness of such a facility. The plan has grown at the instigation of Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura, the Deputy Superintendent of Tah Chat Chai Police Station, Pol Lt Col Jakrit Srisuwan, told the Gazette yesterday. The first-of-its-kind service was initially intended to provide a rest stop and a secure place where visitors could store registered firearms with police while they are on the island, in line with a government ban on carrying firearms in Phuket. Col Jakrit said he has some concerns about the value of expanding the project. He pointed out that tour buses would not park there because the drivers would not get “tea money” (kah nam cha). “They get money from [other] parking [places], so why would they give up that income?” Col Jakrit asked. Nor would foreign tourists be likely to stop there, he said. “They come to see the beaches, and they want to rush to their destinations, for sure.” The new rest area would provide for up to 200 vehicles, he said. “But who’s going to rest here? People can drive a bit further and they will find more comfortable accommodation in town or other places.” The original idea for a gun depository cannot be put into operation because there are no officers to spare from Tah Chat Chai Police Station, he said. “We all have things to do, and officers in the police station and checkpoint keep changing every day. It’s much too complicated,” Col Jakrit said. People were not likely to make great use of the new gas station because fuel would be more expensive than elsewhere on the island. “In my opinion, the old [two million baht] project would be easier to complete. “The Governor proposes to use part of the 2004 budget to complete the project. What if we run out of funds?” Col Jakrit asked.

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

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