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Work begins on new Bang Tao stalls

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Work begins on new Bang Tao stalls | The Thaiger
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BANG TAO: After January 1, 32 beach vendors currently encroaching on Bang Tao Beach will move into small new stalls now being built for them by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor).

Thalang District Chief Administrative Officer Nikorn Torhirunyapreuk told the Gazette that work is now underway on the first 11 stalls being built for the vendors, allowing them to hawk their goods in the area legally for the first time.

Nikorn heads a special panel appointed by former Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura to find a solution to the problem of encroachment, viewed by the province as an eyesore ruining the beach’s natural beauty.

The new stalls are being built to one side of Laguna Beach Resort, views to the sea from which have long been obscured by the illegal construction.

Work on the project is being overseen by the Phuket Provincial Public Works Office, Cherng Talay Tambon Chief Sommit Suebsin and the Cherng Talay Public Works Department.

Funding for the project is from the OrBorJor.

When all 35 stalls are ready to move into, a “lucky draw” will be held to determine which vendors will occupy which units, Nikorn said.

The results of an earlier “lucky draw”, on October 10, were nullified as many vendors refused to take part – fearing that the province would never come through on its promise to find a replacement area for them.

Other vendors who did take part later complained that the original site plan too greatly favored those who drew the choicest spots, nearest to the entrance of Laguna Beach Resort.

The committee then revised the plan, changing it from a single walkway perpendicular to the beach to several parallel walkways, each running parallel to the shoreline.

Under the new plan, stalls selling the same kinds of goods will be side by side so that shoppers can compare prices. The new layout also ensures that no shop will have much more of a competitive advantage in terms of location.

Survey work is now underway to establish new locations for several restaurants that have encroached on the beach by building terraced dining areas out over the tidal zone, Nikorn said.

Illegal encroachment by vendors is a problem along the entire length of Bang Tao Beach, which currently has about 90 illegal stalls on the sand, a survey by Nikorn’s panel has found.

Kontee Warapitayut, Corporate Counsel for Laguna Resorts and Hotels, declined to comment on the new project, saying that it was initiated and is being carried out by the government – not the resort management.

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket airports are officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment. Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Politics

Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | The Thaiger

Back in the news again. Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed is now to be investigated by the Department of Special Investigation after a petition was filed to determine whether the deed was procured legally. Veera Somkwamkid, the secretary-general of the People’s Network Against Corruption, filed the petition along with 167 pages of documents pertaining to his accusations that Thawatchai Anukun, a land fraud suspect, had unlawfully issued land title deeds to plots of land in Phuket before he mysteriously died in a detention room while in DSI custody in 2016.

He was allegedly being investigated for falsifying land deeds between the years of 1998 and 2001. Veera claims before the title deed was issued on the plot, the land was part of a forest known by locals as Pa Kae.

“Back then, 10 families that had occupied the plots for about 40 years had title deed requests rejected. The reason given was the land was part of a forest reserve used by the navy.”

However, Watchara Buathong, Phuket’s current land official, says the Sri Panwa resort had legally acquired its 56-rai, none of which was ever state land. Local resident Khwanjai Khumban, backed this claim, saying her father and cousins had sold most of the land to the resort, and she could produce documents to account for at least 12 rai of the disputed area.

Phuket's Sri Panwa Resort's land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the Social Security Office, is also under fireas it is being asked to explain why it invested in the hotel’s trust fund. The department, which is under Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, in which its minister says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built and points to the responsibility to the DSI to investigate. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

The hotel, situated on Cape Panwa, in Phuket’s Muang district, has been under recent scrutiny due to its owner, Vorasit Issara, accusing Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the anti-government United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, of offending the monarchy at last weekend’s protest at Sanam Luang.

Vorasit posted on Instagram that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul should be jailed, further falsely claiming that she is not Thai when, in fact, Panusaya was found to have been born in Nonthaburi and is a Thai citizen.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Such a statement has received wide backlash from netizens with some taking to Trip Advisor and other websites to post bad reviews of the resort, prompting it to suspend advertising on such sites.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Hospital in Phuket during a doctor’s appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her prison escort officer to use the toilet. But she took a long time to come back, and was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158 centimetres tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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