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Race to repair Patong Hill road

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Race to repair Patong Hill road | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Highways Department hopes to begin shoring up one landslide-prone section of the road over Patong Hill in June, but work on another section of the same road will have to wait until at least next year.

Sathaporn Sornchana, deputy director of the Highways Department office in Phuket, told the Phuket Gazette that the plan to reinforce a section of Phra Barami Road, on the Patong side of the hill, is still awaiting final approval from the Highways Department in Bangkok.

“We are following this project closely. We hope to gain final approval and begin work as soon as possible in this fiscal year,” he said.

Once approved, his office would have one month to find a contractor to undertake the work, which would be scheduled for completion within 150 days, Mr Sathaporn said.

Under such a time frame, the work would take place during the rainiest months of the year in Phuket and be completed at or around the beginning of the next high season for tourism.

The project site would be a stretch of road on Phra Barami Road eastbound, the breakdown lane of which dramatically slid away during heavy rains last October. It was subsequently patched with a temporary cover, but fears of another landslip in the area are a major concern, even more so after the recent seismic activity in the area.

Funding for repairs will be covered under the government’s budget for emergency repairs for flood damage, although the real cause of the slide was hillside development in the area along Soi Kuan Yang that exposed the base of the road to erosion. Rubber plantation and zinc-roofed homes in a temporary workers camp still occupy downslope areas.

The site is well known to Phuket commuters as it runs along the stretch of road about 100 meters west of the San Chao Phor Suea (Tiger God Chinese Shrine) at the top of the hill, where local commuters typically sound their horn to pay respects to the local spirits that are believed by some to dwell there.

The project would cover a 200-meter stretch of road, extending 60 meters downslope. Workers will bore steel galvanized “soilnails” and install PVC drainpipes into the ground beneath the road to prevent further erosion. When completed, the exterior surface would be covered with “shotcrete” (sprayed concrete), with exposed areas further downslope at lower gradients covered with anchored erosion control mesh.

During construction, the 200 meters of road will be closed to traffic for about five months, Mr Sathaporn said.

His office is also waiting for an additional 5 million baht in funding approval to conduct “permanent” repairs to a section of Phra Barami Road further to the west where a large sinkhole opened up in the middle of a lane in August, 2009, he added.

On the Kathu side of Phra Barami Road, where a landslide toppled power poles and caused a 100-meter section of road near the Patong City sign to slump in October last year, there seems to be little hope that landslide prevention work will begin in fiscal 2012.

Mr Sathaporn said responsibility for this section of the road was consigned to his office from Kathu Municipality only on April 2.

No project plan for landslide prevention work has yet been drawn up by either Kathu Municipality or the Highways Department and the period to apply for funding under the emergency flood repair budget for fiscal 2012 has already closed.

Looking to the future, many officials see the long-term solution as tunneling though Patong to create a new four-lane road. An in-depth study was conducted by Patong Municipality and Cabinet recently assigned the project to Transport Ministry’s Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT).Several groups of foreign investors have shown interest in the project, which EXAT Governor Ayyanat said would take about six years and 6 billion baht to complete.

— Atchaa Khamlo



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Phuket

Power outage in parts of Chalong tomorrow

The Thaiger

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Power outage in parts of Chalong tomorrow | The Thaiger

PHOTO: PEA

Residents of Chalong should be aware that there is a scheduled power outage from 9am to 4.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday) as the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) continues its work on high power voltage systems in the area.

The blackouts will affect the areas from the Shell petrol station on Patak Road to Bayshore law office opposite Chalong Beach Hotel on Wiset Road.

As always, the PEA apologises for the inconvenience.

For more information contact the Operations and Maintenance Department of the Provincial Electricity Authority on 07 652 1099 (24 hr)

 

 

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Phuket

Free water schedules for residents in Patong and Rassada

The Thaiger

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Free water schedules for residents in Patong and Rassada | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: PWA

Authorities have announced schedules of free water distribution for residents in Patong and Rassada.

In Rassada by the Phuket Waterworks Authority (PWA)

  1. Koh Siray, from 8pm to midnight every day at Supitcha housing estate
  2. Soi Kingkaew and Soi Honsaithong, from 9am to 3pm every day.
  3. Nattakamon housing estate, one time per three days.
  4. Thep Buri housing estate, one time per three days.
  5. Sri Suchart 2 housing estate , Rock Garden housing estate and Kietsin hosuing estate, one time per three days.

In Patong by Patong Municipality

Free water is available on Phra Baree Road, Phisit Koranee Road and Nanai Road on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am, onward starting today.

Residents are told they need to bring water buckets.

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large

The Thaiger

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo, wanted and believed to be living in Greece

Local Phuket police are yet be informed of the latest in an international hunt for a Greek alleged murderer Dimitrios Chairopoulos. He remains wanted as a suspect in the murder of local beautician 43 year old Niramon ‘Bea’ Aewkaew in Phuket during February.

Cherng Talay police say they want an Interpol Red Notice issued so that they can track down and arrest 42 year old Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, wanted for the murder. Bea and Dim were seen leaving their accommodation on February 11. It was the last time Bea would be seen alive.

Mr Chairopoulos was recorded as clearing Immigration at Phuket International Airport to board a flight to Dubai in the hours after Ms Niramon was last seen alive. He boarded an Emirates flight EK0379 to Dubai, departing Phuket at 2am. Police also confirmed that he arrived in Dubai on the same day.

“If he comes back to Thailand he will be arrested,” said Chief Col Sen Kwannimit of the Cherng Talay Police.

A request for a Red Notice was submitted with the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police on February 19 but, for now, no formal international’s notice has been published..

Cherng Talay Police confirmed that Dim was seen leaving the room at a guesthouse in Bang Tao where Ms Niramon’s body was found on Saturday, February 16.

In the days leading up to her murder her family had been desperately trying to contact her.

‘Bea’ was the eldest of 5 children from Phatthalung province and had been working in Phuket as a beautician at the time.

One of her sisters, May’ was contacted on February 15 by one of Bea’s workmates trying to locate her.

Neither May or Bea’s other sisters, relatives or friends were able to contact her. Bea had just moved to a new house so nobody knew where she was living. Another sister, Pichy, spoke to friends and was able, using Google Maps, to locate the guesthouse she was staying.

The owner of the room told the family that the air-conditioning was on in the room but there was no response. When the owner returned with a key he informed the family that Bea was found on the bed with a black cloth stuffed in her mouth and her hands and feet bound.

CCTV footage shows the couple leaving the room in the afternoon of February 11, the last time that Bea was seen alive.

Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | News by The Thaiger

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos with his daughter from another relationship

What we know about the alleged murderer?

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, who remains at large and thought to be in Greece, worked as security in a night club in Athens. He already had a daughter to another woman in Greece.

During his relationship and marriage with Bea he was said to be ‘controlling’ and ‘jealous’ by members of Bea’s family. A close family friend told The Thaiger that the family had concerns for Bea’s safety and were ‘uncomfortable’ with her ongoing relationship and marriage with Dim.

“We tried to get to know him at family functions but he was not easy to know and seemed very possessive of Bea,” said one of the close family members who asked not to be named.

“He did threaten to kill her if she ever left him and Oh, another of her sisters, went with Bea to file a report of the threats at the Cherng Talay police station at the time,” they explained.

That report was made to police in 2016. A year later the pair married and were still married at the time of the murder.

“He would drive past the beauty shops that Bea worked at and spy on her.”

The family claim that, apart from his own possessions, he also stole Bea’s phone before he headed to the Phuket International Airport on the evening of the murder.

So where is Dimitrios Chairopoulo?

At this stage the Greek Embassy has made no comment about the case or followed up with Greek Police about the pursuit for the fugitive man.

There are currently approximately 58,000 valid Red Notices worldwide of which only 7,000 are public. An Interpol Red Notice has not been issued to alert international police or Immigration officials to be on the look-out for Dim.

For now, the alleged murderer of Bea – an innocent Phuket beautician, beloved sister and family member – remains at large, most probably in Greece.

If anyone has any information about Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo’s whereabouts or information that may lead police to arrest him, please send a confidential message to The Thaiger.

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