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Phuket underpass road-safety complaints spur Ombudsman inspection, confirms B200mn fine

PHUKET: Complaints over the dangerous state of the roads at and around the Sam Kong Underpass spurred Raksagecha Chaechai, Secretary-General of Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand, to inspect the Phuket construction site first-hand on Tuesday (Sept 27).


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 28 September 2016, 08:26PM


Phuket Highways Office Project Engineer Chalermpon Wongkietkun (left) explains details of the Sam Kong Underpass construction project with  Raksagecha Chaechai, Secretary-General of Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand.
Phuket Highways Office Project Engineer Chalermpon Wongkietkun (left) explains details of the Sam Kong Underpass construction project with Raksagecha Chaechai, Secretary-General of Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand.

While conducting his inspection, Ombudsman Raksagecha confirmed that the contractor had accepted to pay B200 million as a fine for completing the project more than 20 months past the original deadline.

“I have come down here again because of I have received many complaints from people reporting that . the construction made it dangerous to drive on the roads,” he said.

Mr Raksagecha pointed out that this was his third inspection of the underpass site. “I came down here to inspect this project in January, in April and now September,” he said.

“This project has been overdue since June 2015, which has affected driver’s safety on the road. The delays have been caused by things such as workers pausing construction for major holidays, and the heavy rain has not helped. I believe people will understand these reasons,” Mr Raksagecha said.

“I know the Highways Department has been trying hard to follow up on the construction, and while this project has been underway the construction company changed its board, but they still had to accept the B200-million fine for the late completion.”

Mr Raksagecha said he, too, was looking forward to the project finally reaching completion.

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“Phuket people will love to use this underpass to reduce the traffic jam. Some of the complaints I have received from people said that they spend more time on the road than on the beach. I get it,” he laughed.

Asked seriously when he expected the never-ending construction to actually end, Mr Raksagecha said, “I have spoken with the Phuket Highways Department, and at this stage I think it will be safe to say that it will be completed by the end of October.”

Before Ombudsman Raksagecha arrived at the Sam Kong Underpass site, Phuket Highways Office Project Engineer Chalermpon Wongkietkun told The Phuket News, “I really want to finish this project as fast as possible.”

In speaking with Mr Raksagecha, Mr Chalermpon said, “The road in the tunnel is finished. There are only little things left to do with this project.”

Mr Chalermpon told The Phuket News only last week that he expected to finish the project by October 15 – a deadline he set as “final”… as long as no further delays were brought on by heavy rain. (See story here.)

Mr Raksagecha noted that the next Phuket projects he will turn his attention to will be complaints filed about the two flyovers to be built on Thepkrasattri Rd at a cost of B200 million. (See story here.)

 

 

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Jim Fisher | 29 September 2016 - 17:50:18

What a farce!

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benvenuto | 29 September 2016 - 12:01:40

Mr Chalermpon told The Phuket News only last week that he expected to finish the project by October 15 – a deadline he set as “final” ...although the ombudsman is now suggesting by the end of october. 
The origin of the word deadline apparently was a border around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could be shot. How about some penalty for project engineers who continually cross their own deadlines? Perhaps an inactive post to recover from gunshot wounds to the foot.
 

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Kurt | 29 September 2016 - 08:14:16

A final fine amount of B200 Million.
The two planned flyovers at Thepkrasattri Rd also cost B 200 million.
So, now Phuket get two new flyovers for free, with closed wallet.

So, if the Sam Kong Underpass contractor is going to build these two flyovers than he get his own ( fine) money back. Hahaha
Time to think about of the construction quality of these coming two flyovers.
Specially as many heavy 10 wheel trucks, busses, cement trucks will use it daily.

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