Phuket Property: Drilling for a response

PHUKET: Groundwater drilling operators have not received any response from the government to help solve the conflict with Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)’s.

Udomsak Naddasena, managing director of Surat Badaal, a groundwater drilling service company, said, “We have not received anything back since I handed the official letters to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha and the senate Pol Gen Sunthorn Saikwan, whom I’m close to, for the documents to be transferred to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.”

“The rule set by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)’s chief, Chaipadung Promsawadi is that our clients have to see him first. Some of my clients have time and are happy to see the chief, but some don’t have time, therefore they will cancel their contracts.”

“We were supposed to arrange a protest, but we canceled this because the governor said he would try to help us two weeks ago. The governor also held a discussion with chief Chaipadung, but everything is still the same in that the project owners have to see him first before the project can be approved,” said Mr Udomsak.

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“However if my clients can see the chief, the projects always get approved.”

He added, “We are forwarding the complaints to the other related organizations to help try and solve the problem and we expect it will reach the prime minister eventually.”

Mr Udomsak said, “Since having the problem, I’ve lost more than 10 clients and about one million baht.”

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) office’s chief Chaipadung Promsawadi said, “The groundwater drilling operators can use a power of attorney, but I still need to meet the project owner first. We have an example of one operator not following regulations which caused a lot of damage and the case is currently in the courts.”

Chief Chaipadung said, “I have requests to help prevent further damage in Phuket. Meanwhile, I would like Phuket to have water to use forever, but by doing it in the right way.”

— Atchaa Khamlo

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