“We have already taken action on four of the 12 problems that villagers gathered together to present on Nov 27, including the provision of temporary public toilets, repair of two lamps (providing light on the beach), the cutting of overgrown grass and we have started drawing up plans for beach renovations,” MaAnn told The Phuket News’ sister publication Khao Phuket yesterday (Jan 2).
“For the remaining eight demands we are still in the process of studying the problems as they are legal issues. The OrBorTor does not have the right to decide on all eight demands, we have to consult with the working group of the Governor’s office,” he added.
The demands were presented by over 100 disgruntled local residents and beach operators at Surin Beach in the hopes of clearing up “misunderstandings” about alleged duplicity in allowing beach operators to serve tourists on the sands and to raise the standard of the beach so that it becomes more attractive to tourists. (See story here).
“In particular, for the official document that allows trade in public areas, I would like to consult with the Phuket Provincial Office (headed by the Phuket Governor) because this issue is of importance for the income of the residents and we must have a way to prevent problems that may occur later. I will keep you informed with this,” Mr MaAnn assured.
Surin resident Jamlong Sittichai, who was one of the key figures in the Nov 27 mass gathering at the beach, noted, “It is true that the OrBorTor has worked to resolve four of the demands. However, right now only two of the beach lights are working, which is still not enough.
“On the night of New Year’s Eve, there were many tourists (on the beach). It is dangerous if travellers walk in the dark,” he said.
“The temporary arrangement of the toilets is good, but the sewage trap installed underneath has a capacity of less than 100 litres, which is large enough for only two days of sewage,” he said.
“Most recently, volunteers of the Surin Beach Lifeguards volunteered to clean the toilets themselves and coordinate with the Cherng Talay OrBorTor to bring a truck every two days to clear the tanks and bring water so the toilets can be flushed,” he added.
However, notably missing from the list of demands presented by the local residents was for action to be taken to finally bring an end to black wastewater pouring onto Surin Beach and to clear litter strewn throughout the area (See story here.)
Both eyesores continue to blight the Surin beachfront.