“The project to install the power cables underground in Patong has taken too long,” Governor Norraphat said at an early morning meeting, which got underway at the Governor’s House at 7:30am.
“I want progress on this project. You have the budget to build it… You know I have asked about this many times, and so have many others,” he added.
Present to respond in person to Governor Norraphat’s call for action was Vachira Phitaktansakul, Governor of Construction and Project Management at the national PEA headquarters in Bangkok.
Mr Vachira’s presence follows his predecessor, Panya Laochu, announcing more than two years ago, “A 33KV power-supply cable will be installed along three kilometres of the beach road, from the Klong Pak Bang bridge (at the southern end of Thaweewong Rd) to the intersection with Ruamjai Rd.
“The contract has been signed and comes into effect in April 2016, allowing 18 months for the contractor to complete the project. We believe construction will begin in July 2016,” Mr Panya told the press after a meeting at the Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa, in Patong, on Dec 16, 2015. (See story here.)
However, Mr Vachira this morning explained, “The B224-million contract to install the cables underground in Patong has stalled because the contractor rejected the ‘technical plan’ for the project in May 2017.
“They cannot work on this plan, as the technical plan no longer caters to present demands,” Mr Vachira added.
“We have to draw up new plans for this project, and we will hold a meeting to clarify with communications companies this month,” he said, alluding to the original intent of having only the power cables buried now being expanded to include having telephone and internet cables installed underground with them.
“We will then draft a new contract that must be approved before opening the contract to bidding, which we expect will be in April 2018.
“But we will push for the construction to start that same month. The contracted construction period will be the same – 540 days” Mr Vachira added.
On hearing the update, Governor Norraphat made plain his concerns that the public remain uninformed of what is happening with the project.
“Everything must be published for people to see. You have to tell the people what are you doing. So go and post signs to let them know,” he said.