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Phuket Governor opens fire over pollution

PHUKET: Phuket Governor has blasted officials for the state of pollution in Phuket and ordered uniformed officers to take action to remedy situation, from untreated wastewater being dumped into public waterways to litter-blocked drains causing roads to flood.

tourism, pollution, marine,

The Phuket News

Friday 20 April 2018, 01:14PM

Governor Norraphat Plodthong delivered his order for action at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (April 19) held to address key issues affecting the island’s critical tourism industry.

“You must figure this out. Businesses are still releasing untreated wastewater; this means that officials must go out and check and striclty enforce the law,” Governor Norraphat said.

That message came while untreated wastewater is still flowing into Patong Bay, while a open pool of black wastewater remains on Surin Beach and after a canal in Rawai emptying into Chalong Bay started to run black again. (See story here.)

Looking towards next month, when the southwest monsoon and the annual heavy rains return, Gov Norraphat ordered officials to clear their respective areas of rubbish clogging roadside drains.

“Lots of rubbish gets stuck in the drains. Every official has to fix this in their area before the rains come, and this will help stop the problem of clogged drains causing floods across the roads,” he said.

Regarding overcrowding and other ongoing issues at Phuket International Airport, Gov Norraphat held out the hope that the completion of the ongoing renovations will solve problems there.

“Phuket airport is too busy because some areas are under renovation. This coupled with the increasing number of passengers using the airport is the main cause of the problems. After the renovations are finished, the problems will be solved,” he said.

Of note, airport officials at meeting yesterday said that the renovations would be complete by June.

Present at the meeting yesterday was Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung and Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Surachai Chaiwat, for whom the order to clean up Phuket was much welcomed.

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Mr Surachai was present when Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat publicly criticised the island’s infrastructure as inadequate and in need of addressing during a visit to Phuket in February. (See story here.)

Also present yesterday was Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) Vice President Sarayuth Mallam, who told The Phuket News today that while the goal of keeping Phuket clean was the main desire of all parties involved, a key obstacle was access to the budget required for officials to appropriately address the issues.

“Many people from all the different industries in Phuket joined this meeting to ask the Phuket Governor for help with these issues. One of the most important things to happen at the meeting was that the Governor was asked to request budgets that are realistic and suitable for what needs to be done to fix the problems.

“In the meeting, the Regional Environment Department Region 15 office and the Phuket office of the Environment Department asked for more budget to solve the cause of pollution from hotels and tourism businesses.

“These businesses release wastewater into public water sources, but these officials are not able to inspect each and every hotel here. They can only conduct random checks, and there are far too many hotels here for that to be effective,” he said.

“Other issues covered at the meeting included overcrowding at Phuket Airport and better traffic light management to help reduce traffic congestion,” Mr Sarayuth added.

“I do not have any recommendations for this Phuket Governor. He is leading the officials well and checks on their progress every three months. I have no complaints about how these issues are being handled at his level,” Mr Sarayuth said.

Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot



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Kurt | 23 April 2018 - 09:30:02

Heavy rain expected by end this week on Phuket.
Will all canals, streams. drains, ditches, etc  be cleaned this week prior the coming rain?
And please, not only ordered, but check or it will be done.

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chris007 | 23 April 2018 - 03:33:41

They have worked hard at focusing on what they cant do and they have succeded ! Hands together for POO-GET Tosserb**n. They have an excuse for everything and they blame everyone and everything else. By looking inward they lose face. When the tourists dwindle to a snails pace they will blame the economy, the rouble, terrorism but never the apathy of their management practices.  

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Kurt | 21 April 2018 - 09:40:17

Phuket Governor has a lot on his plate
To much water flooding, or not enough water threat
All beaches and beach waters polluted by law ignoring Orbor Tors that not control their jurisdiction (Hotels/restaurants/houses)
Island not fully able to handle rubbish/waste, deplorable working incinerating plant, which is a management problem 
Highest Dengue fever Province, a not competent working DDC

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BenPendejo | 20 April 2018 - 21:29:54

More blah-di-blah, Govnr telling the same do-nothings that they need to do more, which they never have, and never will, because they simply don't give a s#!t. And the relevant environment departments, also a bunch of do-nothings, never acted, never will. It is not that difficult of a task, and if they can't figure out how to do it, then the wrong people are filling those jobs. Phuket loses...

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moskito | 20 April 2018 - 17:32:14

Phuket has become a concrete hell with too much of everything. 
The Authorities and the government managed to not do anything about the destroying of the island once called PEARL OF THE ANDAMAN  ... PHUKET STINKS!! 
Check GOOGLE EARTH pictures 20years ago and from NOW!!! 
2third of the island are CONCRETE already!!

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Fascinated | 20 April 2018 - 17:27:05

Ahhh- PASSENGERS USING the airport is part of the problem. Those naughty tourists causing issues again!

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marcher | 20 April 2018 - 14:11:51

A few years behind the times, but do not exspect anything to be done

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