Landslides on Kamala Hill caused considerable damage during the heavy rains last October. Power poles were felled and the road was closed several times so workers could clear debris from the road.
“Now that it is raining again, local residents have started worrying about landslides, and especially that big rocks will come tumbling down [the hill],” Mr Chalermpong told The Phuket News.
Mr Chalermpong raised the issue with a post on Facebook yesterday that featured photos of the dangerous exposed hillside rock beside the road. Local officials installed road barriers along the side of the road, but Mr Chalermpong said plainly, “That is not enough.”
Mr Chalermpong said that he will visit the Phuket Highways Office today (May 23) to ask for a solution to the problem, and he will soon ask Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) for support.
“I understand that budget limitations at the local level may not provide enough support. The government needs to decentralise power so that the local authorities can solve problems in a timely manner,” he said.
“I will also ask the Phuket Highways Office about how to alleviate the local residents’ concerns about big rocks falling down the hill. In the future, we may have to develop wetlands and create an app that informs local residents about disasters [landslides and floods] in their areas,” he added.
“Phuket has soil-based mountains and when it rains, the soil absorbs and holds the water, but when the amount of water is too much, there will be a landslide. An app will help people to avoid danger from landslides,” Mr Chalermpong explained.
“The risk of landslides has been resolved in Karon as well as on Patong Hill, but the area that I am worried about is just here at Kuan Na Yak. However, all the locations should be monitored for land encroachment because it could lead to a natural disaster,” Mr Chalermpong said.
Mr Chalermpong noted that he was particularly concerned about land encroachment as one of the causes of increasing the possibility of natural disasters.
“Apart from natural factors, humans encroaching on forest lands is a major factor. Building constructions that block natural waterways make it even easier for disasters to occur,” he said.
Mr Chalermpong noted that the issue will be raised with Cabinet once the parliament resumes.
“Once parliament reconvenes, we can raise the issue with Cabinet. We will push for a budget to solve this problem. It is better to do it right away than waiting or ignoring it,” he said.
JohnC | 24 May 2023 - 09:13:52