Vice-Governor to move

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Vice-Governor Pongpow Ketthong has been appointed Deputy Director-General of the national Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD).

V/Gov Pongpow was officially informed of his new appointment yesterday and will take up his post on October 26. His replacement as Vice-Governor has yet to be announced.

He told the Gazette that one of his tasks in his new job would be tackling Phuket’s flooding and landslide problems.

“I intend to bring forward these problems for discussion and to allocate money for solutions,” he said.

The DPMD should work with Patong Municipality to find solutions to the flooding, he said, adding that there are many construction projects in Patong and that some of these had blocked natural waterways, preventing rainwater flowing into the sea.

He added, “The estimated cost of flood damage covers only material damage, such as that to buildings and roads, but there is also a hidden ‘cost’ when businesses are closed because of the floods.

He continued, “Another thing I will work on is the marine rescue center [to handle accidents at sea, such as drownings], although Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) has already begun its beach guard project.

“I want to improve the system, because we still have people drowning during the low season.”

V/Gov Pongpow said he would give a great deal of attention to Phuket because the province brings in 70 billion baht a year in foreign currency and is the tourism center of southern Thailand.

“We have to ensure that foreigners who visit Phuket get good impression, otherwise they won’t come back again,” he said.

For the same reason, the he added, the government should reconsider its decision to make entertainment venues close earlier.

“It might be all right in a place like Mae Hong Son,” he said, “but in a tourist place like Phuket, it could have a real effect on the economy.”

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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