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Bangkok Broadcasting charging for beach access

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Bangkok Broadcasting & Television Co Ltd (BBTV), the company that broadcasts Thai national television Channel 7, and now claims to own access to Laem Singh Beach, started charging beachgoers 100 baht in entrance fees on Friday.

BBTV installed a sign at the entrance to the beach, stating that the company owns the land, and that the entrance fee is 100 baht per person from 7am to 7pm. The sign also lists land document title numbers and cites court case reference numbers.

The company said they will send security guards to collect fees from beachgoers, and will issue identification cards to the owners of businesses on the beach and their local workers to ensure that they will have access to the public beach free of charge.

“They started collecting a 20 baht per person entrance fee last year,” said a Laem Singh vendor who asked not to be named.

In 2012, more than 100 vendors from Laem Singh gathered outside Phuket Provincial Hall to demand that the government investigate Chanote title deeds for the beachfront land at the scenic cape.

A formal letter of complaint was handed to Dusadee Arayawuth, secretary-general of the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), calling for authorities to investigate the land titles after BB&T ordered a fence to be built along the property’s boundaries (story here).

“We filed our complaint everywhere we could think of, including the Department of Special Investigations (DSI), the PACC, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and local government offices,” the vendor told the Phuket Gazette. “Yet still there is nothing being done.”

“There are are nine shops down on the beach, and we’ve been using the access for over 30 years. We can’t do much, since [BBTV] claims ownership of the surrounding land,” he says.

Phuket Vice GovernorChokdee Amornwat told the Gazette this evening that he was aware of the issue and confirmed that provincial officials plan to meet this Friday to discuss the possibility of creating a public access pathway to the beach. He did not confirm whether use of that path, as required by law, would be free of charge to the public or not.

Just five months ago, Mr Chokdee himself gave the vendors at Laem Singh five days to remove all of their illegal beach chairs and umbrellas from the beach. He later claimed that that had been done (story here). However, the items were clearly back in place at the government-designated ‘virgin beach’ yesterday.

— Chutharat Plerin

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

Bangkok

‘Bad Student’ group plan protest after alleged abuse at Sarasas school

Caitlin Ashworth

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‘Bad Student’ group plan protest after alleged abuse at Sarasas school | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Last month's 'Bad Student' protest - AP/Sakchai Lalit

After reports of a kindergarten teacher allegedly abusing and mistreating students, a group of Bangkok high school students known as “Bad Students” will rally in front of the Ministry of Education office tomorrow, calling on the Education Minister to step up.

A teacher at the Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School in Nonthaburi, a suburb in Bangkok, was caught on classroom surveillance camera video pushing a kindergarten student to the floor, dragging another across the classroom and hitting others. That teacher was fired and faces charges of physical assault and violating the Child Protection Act.

The Bad Students say Education Minister Nuttapol Teepuwan did nothing to solve the problems of alleged abuse at the school. The same group of students rallied in front of the office last month, calling on the minister to allow free expression of political views at the schools.

The student activists are planning to rally around 5pm. They plan to have trucks stop by various schools on the way. It’s unclear how many students will turn up, but a Thai actress posted on Twitter that she will bring food and 700 bottles of water to support the protesters.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Transport

Suvarnabhumi Airport extension ready by April, capacity to increase by 15 million passengers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Suvarnabhumi Airport extension ready by April, capacity to increase by 15 million passengers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

A new terminal extension at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is finishing up after construction was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The addition would not only reduce overcrowding, but also increase the amount of passengers at the airport. The Satellite Terminal 1, or SAT-1, extension is 95% done and expected to be open to the public by April 2021, according to the Airports of Thailand, or AOT, president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn.

The new extension will have 28 parking bays, reducing congestion and allowing more flights to and from the airport. It’s expect to increase the airport’s capacity by 15 million passengers per year. An Automated People Mover, an electric train system, is planned to transport 6,000 people per hour using an underground tunnel connecting to the main terminal which is about a kilometre away.

The pandemic significantly slowed down construction on the new extension, which is part of a 62 billion baht project approved in 2011. Manufacturers overseas were unable to ship parts due to restrictions and some people needed for the project could not enter the country, Nitinai says.

“Due to lockdown measures, we also had to wait longer for experts from overseas who have to arrive to conduct test runs and provide instructions on system operation and maintenance.”

Workers are conducting test runs of the transit system. 2 of the 6 people movers have been delivered. A full test will be conducted once all the trains are delivered. Nitinai says the transit system will be ready before April 2021.

“The building itself is now 100% complete, with only some interior design and landscape work now being finalised … AOT is also working on the APM system, whose installation in the Satellite 1 Building is now over 70% complete.”

The SAT-1 won’t be fully completed until April 2022. Nitinai says the individual carrier system and luggage carousels are 75% complete.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Bangkok’s Khao San Road re-opening for local trade

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok’s Khao San Road re-opening for local trade | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Screengrab - Bangkok Extra

Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul says the capital’s iconic Khao San Road is set to re-open for trade, targeting the local market of Thais and expats. The street is normally a mecca for international tourists, in particular, younger backpackers making the rite-of-passage pilgrimage through Southeast Asia.

There was a pre-Covid botched attempt to meddle with the area’s long-established, and rather endearingly ramshackle, mixture of shops, bars, vendors and scammers. Whilst not particularly popular with the locals, the old Khao San Road was a magnet to tourists. Attempts by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to gentrify the area resulted in a number of unsuccessful attempts to tame the traders and bring some order to the busy shopping zone.

But the closure of shops and the lack of tourists from the Covid outbreak provided the break the BMA needed to “sort out” the old Khao San Road and do a make-over for the eventual re-opening of the new Khao San Road.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the street hard, with businesses shut, and a marked absence of the international tourists who normally make up a solid 90% of Khao San’s visitors. Now Sakoltee says it’s time for the street to come back to life, saying vendors will target a new demographic of local Thais and expats whilst the borders remained largely closed.

The Bangkok Post reports that Sakoltee chaired a meeting yesterday to plan the re-opening, which it’s hoped will happen at the end of this month. It’s understood additional vendors who attract local custom will set up shop on the road, with various monthly events to boost visitor numbers.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang says areas surrounding the road will get a clean-up, in particular, the Chong Nonsi Khlong, or canal. Officials are planning to turn the waterway and the surrounding area into a visitor attraction, a development project that will take place in 2 stages. The first job is to clean the canal, which is currently home to weeds and rubbish. Aswin has directed 250 municipal workers to begin the clean-up operation. Trees along the canal will also be trimmed regularly, and the canal’s drainage and treatment systems are set to be revamped at some point in the future plan.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Association is also planning to create footpaths along both sides of the canal, a project that will be paid for through donations from local businesses. Aswin hopes to have all works completed by April 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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