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B9mn allocated for pier improvements

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PHUKET: A budget of 9 million baht has been allocated to spruce up Chalong Pier with plans to improve facilities for the hundreds of tourists who visit the ferry point daily.

Transportation Division Chief Prasit Yotharak of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) said last week that renovation plans include more seating, more toilets, shower stalls and a Muslim prayer room.

There are also plans to install new lights along the length of the pier.

“The plans have been sent for government approval, which we expect to have next month, so that construction can begin in September,” said Mr Prasit.

However, he could not reveal precise details of the plans until they have been finalized.

A tour boat operator at the pier who wished not to be named estimated that about 500 tourists arrive there every morning, before boarding boats for excursions to nearby islands.

“Shaded seating areas are desperately needed,” he said.

“It’s total chaos in the mornings. When it rains, it’s an absolute nightmare as 500 people try to cram into an area suitable for only 30 to 40,” he said.

“The toilets are another major problem, especially ladies toilets. There simply are not enough of them. Just four sit-down toilets for 500 people. They are also in a disgusting state by mid morning and my guests often refuse to use them, even after they’ve had to queue up for at least ten minutes.”

Officials recently realized that the narrow building construction is causing the problem, due to which new, broader seating areas at the Yachting Control Center will be built for tourists.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich

 

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