Phuket MP raises concerns over hastily built, damage-prone Patong Hill Road

Picture courtesy of Chalermpong Saengdee

An MP representing Phuket District 2 announced his intention to raise a critical issue in Parliament regarding the hastily built road over the hills from Chalong to Patong. Constructed last year following a landslide on Patong Hill, this road has since been met with concerns about its condition and cost-effectiveness.

The road, named Luang Phu Supha Road, was inspected by MP Chalermpong Saengdee yesterday, who highlighted the condition of the road that serves as a vital throughway connecting the island. He claimed the new road was already seriously damaged and hardly usable.

These issues are compounded by the road’s thin surface, measuring only two to three centimetres in thickness, and signs of potential slides on the right side of the road. The MP’s concerns centre around the cost-effectiveness of the road’s construction and the damage it has already sustained.

“For this, I will be submitting a question to Parliament to find a conclusion as quickly as possible.”

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The road was built following a decree from Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, who declared the landslide on Patong Hill a disaster last October. This declaration allowed funds from the provincial disaster relief fund to be allocated for road improvements.

Despite no injuries or deaths resulting from the landslide, the road improvements were deemed necessary to minimise disruption to essential traffic to and from Patong, a major tourism hub in Phuket, reported The Phuket News.

Work on the new road commenced less than a week after the landslide, with the road being used by people as early as March this year, despite only being surfaced with crushed rock. As a result, there have been concerns about the safety of the road, particularly as several sections over the hills are exceptionally steep and still unpaved.

Tiwap Seedokbuab, Deputy President of Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO), voiced concerns about the safety of road users. He noted that the PPAO intended to cover the dirt sections of the road with concrete but faced budget constraints and required approval from the Phuket Provincial Forestry Office to have a section of the road surfaced with asphalt.

Tiwap further mentioned that the road not only serves as an alternative route to and from Patong but could also become a Phuket tourist attraction due to its scenic views. However, despite these plans and discussions, there has been no progress towards making the road safer since March.

The total cost of the project, as well as the amount spent so far, remains undisclosed. Seedokbuab declined to provide a figure for the construction costs in March, stating they were still finalising it.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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