However, Mr MaAnn also said that he has a resolution to the problem and that it will be resolved in two months.
Mr MaAnn was speaking at the new Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana’s first Governor Meets Press function held at Phuket Provincial Hall.
Residents of Surin and Bang Tao have continuously complained about black, pungent wastewater being released into the sea at their respective beaches and that the issue has never been resolved.
In March this year, local residents yet again voiced their angry complaints about black wastewater – complete with a foul stench – fouling the tourist-popular Surin Beach, on Phuket's west coast.
Worse, tourists also complained of an itchy sensation from entering the water at the beach. (See story here.)
Speaking yesterday, Mr MaAnn said, “We need to thank the media for questioning the problem of water pollution at Surin Beach. I admit that I have failed in my attempts to resolve the wastewater issue at Surin Beach.
“Let’s just say that the wastewater treatment project of the Cherng Talay sub district is a prototype project that uses an underground system. It does use a surface treatment system. The project is divided into two areas: Bang Tao Beach and Surin Beach. The most common problem occurs at Surin Beach,” said MaAnn.
Repeating to Governor Phakaphong what he had already said in March, Mr MaAnn explained, “We pushed for a long time for the budget to build a wastewater-treatment system, which we finally were granted to install a system that collects the first-phase wastewater [from Bang Tao Beach and Surin Beach].
“We received B248,773,025 from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Cherng Talay OrBorTor provided B106,746,975. In total, we received B355.52mn. The construction took five years, from 2012 to 2017.
“So, we had a B300-million project set up to install a wastewater-treatment system, but the system has not been used. We were later told that some parts of the system were not working,” he said.
“We have tried to get a company to take care of the wastewater treatment system at the medium price of B5 million per year, but no company has ever submitted a request to manage the system. The process of procurement has been repeated three times,” he added.
Mr MaAnn then went on to say that he had good news regarding the wastewater treatment system.
“Today I received some good news. The company that manages the wastewater treatment system in Patong has agreed to take care of the Cherng Talay wastewater treatment system.
“Their bid the has passed the TOR [Terms of Reference], and they will start to take care of the system in two months,” he said.