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Phuket ‘Table for Two’: Army wants a date with MaAnn over beach restaurant

PHUKET: The Commander of the Royal Thai Army unit assigned to Phuket wants to meet MaAnn Samran, chief of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) to hear why a beach club restaurant has been allowed to place dining chairs and tables on the sand at Bang Tao Beach.

tourism, military, crime, corruption, economics, marine,


The Phuket News

Wednesday 15 March 2017, 05:34PM


Col Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the 25th Infantry Regiment and the highest-ranking army officer stationed in Phuket, told The Phuket News he was seeking an audience with Mr MaAnn after he led an inspection of Bang Tao beach on Monday (Mar 13).

“I want to talk with the Cherng Talay chief about the restaurant with chairs and tables on the beach… He well knows about it, but he has done nothing to arrest these people. Bang Tao beach is one of the nine beaches under the ‘beach management’ policy,” Col Santi said.

“I have informed the Palad (Cherng Talay OrBorTor Chief Administrative Office) to inform the chief that he must must come to talk with me.

“I want to find out what he wants and what businesses want at that beach. I want their conclusions reported to me. I will pass on my report to the Army and the Phuket Provincial beach management committee,” Col Santi said.

Mr MaAnn came under further pressure on Monday when local vendors petitioned him to set up 10% zones and allow them to work on Surin Beach, which is also within Mr MaAnn’s geographical area of responsibility.

“I know and understand people here. If the Phuket Provincial Beach Management Committee allows it, I have no problems,” he told the wannabe beach vendors on Monday.

Asked whether the Army will allow sun loungers and umbrellas at Surin Beach, Col Santi told The Phuket News, “In my opinion, Surin Beach should be kept clear to honour to The King, as the beach has already been named to be maintained in honour of His Majesty.

“I understand there is pressure to allow the same conditions as at some other beaches, but the Phuket Provincial Beach Management Committee identified only nine beaches to have th10% zones set up on them – and Surin Beach was never one of those nine beaches,” Col Santi said.

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“If the beach management committee does consider allowing 10% zones at Surin Beach, they must do so carefully, because they know Surin Beach is a ‘Royal beach’,” he added.

Regarding Laem Singh Beach and a protest by “local vendors” on Monday against a blockade set up preventing them from accessing the beach, Col Santi noted,” I know. We told the Phuket Highways Office to block the upper entrance. I don’t want people and tourists to park and go down there.

“Sun loungers are not allowed on Laem Singh Beach, as it was named one of the ‘virgin beaches’ under the original beach management policy.

“We know people are being charged to cross land to access the beach, and we began investigating this at the beginning of March.

“I think the entrance fee is B200 per person to get to a public beach. People should not have to pay for this,” he said.

“Also, a private entity claims it is their land. I doubt this and I have asked the Land Office to check their claim.

Col Santi also pointed out, “I don’t want to force people by using the power of the Army. Instead, the Marine Office, the Land Office and the local administration organisation are all involved in these issues, and we are working with these other officials.

“Don’t worry, I will try to resolve these issues as quickly as possible,” he said.

 

 

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Nasa12 | 16 March 2017 - 07:53:55

So where are all this rules from November,6. 2015 ? The mapping out of the designated beach zones is to be carried out under the banner of “Phuket Beach Model: One Beach, One Rule, One Map and One Organisation”, he said.

“The ‘10 per cent rule’ is still the guiding principle, but not every beach will be the same. Small modifications will be introduced where deeemed appropriate so that the best combination is created for each beach,” V/Gov Chokdee said.

Accompanied by Navy personnel, V/Gov Chokdee took the time to explain to local beach vendors where the new designated areas will be – and the potential consequences of being caught providing services outside of those areas

The previous plan dedicated 200m zones on Patong Beach expressly for vendors, including food and drink vendors, umbrella rental operators and massage services, V/Gov Chokdee explained.

“This has now been reduced to 70m each,” he said. “The remaining 130m of each 200m zone are ‘free zones’ where beach operators are banned on the sands, but tourists may swim anywhere in the water within each of these 200m zones”

The math was easy, he added. “The beach length is about 3,500m long, so 10 per cent of is 350m. Divide by five zone leaves 70m each,” V/Gov Chokdee explained, noting that the previous calculations likely tried to factor the area of sand present at low tides.

However, in between each 200m “beach vendor plus tourist” zone are 200m zones where the famed jet-ski rental operators and parasail boats may operate, he added.

The five “beach vendor plus tourist” 200m zones plus the four “jet-ski and parasail operator” 200m zones cover the busiest 1.8km of Patong Beach. The Phuket News has yet to learn what the 1.7km of beach to the north and to the south of the main 1.8km stretch of sand will be dedicated to.

Markers will be installed on either side of each zone.

“Each marker’s position will be recorded by GPS. Any attempt to move these markers will result in legal action,” warned Kathu District Chief Sayan Chanachaiyawong.

“Later, we could even make these markers attractive for tourists, such as having nice designs on them featuring starfish or dolphins,” he added.

In another welcome move to re-organise Phuket’s key tourist beaches, Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongthada on Thursday (Nov 5) announced hat beach goers should be allowed to put their loungers and umbrellas anywhere on the beach.

The Phuket News

eric dekegel | 15 March 2017 - 19:53:10

What is he looking proud of his job today, not dangerous enjoying sunny beaches,no clue about beach management but that's not a big deal how people make there money and there living as he is paid by the government(actually the thai people)and sure of his salary every month just to show off, is this not the job of your life?

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BenPendejo | 15 March 2017 - 18:57:56

Go General Santi! It is about time that Mr. Samran gets called on his fiefdom of BangTao and Surin...two of the most poorly managed beaches on the island, and both were allowed to spiral out of control like no other beach.  The BangTao community is also one of the biggest crapholes on the island, with streets that have been ripped up and poorly paved for years, and where illegal trash piles abound throughout the community.  I hope that Surin remains a "Royal Beach" and that something gets done to keep the vendors in check.  Ever since demolition, the same aggressive beach bums have pursued their illegal business activities, and when the Army has come in to clear them out... they are back, sometimes the same day.  And for Laem Sing...complete act of lawlessness, with the local beach bums and other illegal thugs flipping the big middle finger to government officials, even forcing the lifeguards off the sand for encroaching on their illegal business.  Go General GO!!!

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