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New Phuket market still on hold

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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New Phuket market still on hold | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: With the opening of the new market on Ranong Road on hold more than a year after its completion, would-be tenants have filed a complaint charging the municipality with overcharging them on construction costs needed to build food stalls.

Work on the project got underway in March 2007, after vendors agreed to move off the site of the old wet market.

The municipality then oversaw construction of a hygienic, state-of-the-art complex with facilities including elevators, rooftop parking and wastewater treatment equipment.

The completed project is a four-story building with a total area of 11,200 square meters surrounded on three sides by 27 commercial shophouse units.

For the previous report click here.

By the end of September 2008, Phuket City Municipality had paid out the full 167 million baht in construction costs to the project contractor, but that did not cover the cost of stalls for each unit.

These are being built under a separate 25.7-million-baht contract, work on which began last month with scheduled completion in July.

Vendors are being asked to pay additional fees of 15,000 baht per square meter as well as material costs varying from 2,000 to 8,000 baht/sqm, depending on the type of stall.

Thus far not a single vendor has agreed to pay the fees, which they view as excessive.

As an example, one greengrocer is being charged over 540,000 baht for his designated area of just over 28sqm.

The vendors complained to the municipality before lodging a formal complaint with Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop on April 8.

Gov Wichai arranged a meeting between them and Phuket Town Mayor Somjai Suwansupana the same day.

The municipality has asked the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) to offer more attractive loan terms to vendors who cannot afford to pay, but the vendors are asking that the 15,000 baht/sqm fee be waived completely.

“Why do we have to pay when the market was built with over 167 million baht in taxpayer’s money? That should have covered the cost of building food stalls,” said one vendor representative.

The city also kept them in the dark about how much it would cost to move into the new market when the project was announced, they allege.

If the city refuses to negotiate on construction fees, they should at least offer low-interest loans directly to vendors, they said.

Monthly repayment on a 15-year BAAC loan at 7.5% annual interest would result in vendors having to pay back almost double the principal, the representative said.

Further problems lie in the fact that many vendors are too old to qualify for long-term loans, while others have been blacklisted due to a bad credit history.

“We are begging them for sympathy and not to place this hardship on us,” the representative said.

Mayor Somjai said the municipality will review the issue and announce its conclusions by the end of the month.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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