PHUKET: In an effort to beautify the Surin and Nai Yang beach fronts for the high season, 100 police volunteers and three local government officials helped to clear the illegal stalls at both beaches yesterday.
Cherng Talay OrBorTor (Tambon Administration Organization) Chief Administative Officer Suwat Pakobporn explained to the Gazette that it is provincial government policy to remove illegal stalls and invite the encroachers to sell their wares from OrBorTor shops instead.
At Surin Beach, 20 OrBorTor shops were built between January and June this year at a cost of 6 million baht. Tenants will be charged rent of 500 baht a month, excluding water and electricity and leases will be for three years only. The shops are located some 50 meters back from where the illegal stalls were.
Thalang District Office Chief Paisarn Boonlom joined K. Suwat and Cherng Talay OrBorTor Deputy Chairman Wiwat Doktien and as the police volunteers demolished 37 illegal stalls on Surin Beach.
The remaining 17 stall owners have been invited to rent adjacent Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) shops.
K. Suwat said, “We hope to make the beach more appealing and, at the same time, allow local vendors to continue doing business with the tourists who are attracted here.”
In Nai Yang, which has had a decades-long simmering dispute over encroachment by vendors, the situation is less clear-cut.
OrBorTor Sakoo began construction of 30 single-story shophouses in December last year, with a budget of 15 million baht from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
However, the Sirinath Marine National Park Authority stepped in to halt construction in August, pointing out that permission had not been given to build on national park land. At that point, six million baht had already been spent and the buildings were 60% complete.
On August 16, Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura ordered them torn down.
Sakoo OrBorTor Chief Surapong Panyawai told the Gazette that the houses have been demolished and the remaining budget of nine million baht is earmarked for construction of 30 new units on six rai of land in the Pa Son Lek area, 500 meters north of the Pearl Village Hotel.
This land, however, also belongs to the Sirinath Marine National Park and it is not clear whether or not Sakoo OrBorTor will get the green light to build there.
K. Surapong said, “A construction start date has not been set yet. Meanwhile, the encroachers continue to peddle their wares from illegal stalls along the beach.”
Sakoo OrBorTor Chief K. Surapong said that he hopes to meet with Sirinath Park Chief Thanapong Aphaisorn to discuss the issue further.
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