“Surin Beach is only a part of the whole beach project,” Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat told The Phuket News today.
“Next will be demolitions at Leypang and Layan beaches on April 27,” he said.
“The Phuket Governor and I well know what exactly happened here. We just wanted to get it done. After the demolition is finished, work will begin on the photography museum to honour HM The King and Queen,” he added.
V/Gov Chokdee said it was important foreigners to understand what was happening at Surin Beach.
“We are not destroying Phuket. We are doing the right things as decided must be done in 2014,” he said.
Two large backhoes brought to the beach began razing the buildings on the stroke of 9am, under the protection of Navy personnel led by Lt Sompop Kamkana of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command along with scores of police.
Among the officials present were Cherng Talay Tambon Administration (OrBorTor) chief MaAnn Samran and Thalang District Chief Wikrom Jaakthi.
Watching from a distance were more than 100 people who massed at the entrance to the beach, as military personnel denied them access to the site while the demolition continued.
Some of those among the crowd voiced their support for the demolitions.
“For long time, ordinary people could not get in or hang around here (along the beachfront). Now that the businesses have gone, we can come here and sit down and have a picnic,” said one onlooker, who asked not to be named.