Gov Norraphat specifically ordered for officials to update him on the woeful canal early Monday morning (Mar 19), said a report by the Phuket Provincial office of the Public Relations Department issued this afternoon (Mar 17).
However, although officials have carried out several inspections of the area over the past two weeks, even as recently as Thursday (Mar 15), they say they are still none the wiser as to who is actually responsible for releasing the wastewater into the canal. (See story here.)
The report issued today noted that officials from the Phuket-based Regional Environment Office 15 collected water samples yesterday (Mar 16) in order to test the level of pollution in the water.
Those test results are expected by this coming Tuesday (Mar 20), said the report.
“This issue has taken so long to resolve,” Governor Norraphat said.
“Officials must come to update and explain to me on Monday morning what they are doing. I have received complaints from people about the black water being released into a public water source that empties into the tourism attraction of Chalong Bay.,” he added.
“Yesterday (Mar 16), I ordered Phuket Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew with Muang District Chief Supot Chanakit, as well as officials from both Rawai and Chalong municipalities, to follow up on this issue,” Gov Norraphat said.
The Governor noted that Rawai Municipality, the local administration responsible for the area, has begun to dredge the canal in the hopes that having the water flowing more freely will help to alleviate the problem.
Of note, speaking to The Phuket News on Thursday (Mar 15), Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos said, “We must find out who is responsible for releasing this water into the canal. Once we have found out who is responsible they will have seven days to rectify the problem.
“If the water is coming from businesses such as restaurants, shops or hotels I will order them to stop their businesses and fine them according to the Municipality Act,” he said.
However, in his missive this afternoon, Gov Norraphat extended the remit for action to be taken against filthy canals to prevent untreated wastewater from flowing into Chalong Bay to now include those areas for which Chalong Municipality is responsible.
“Officials must inspect every hotel and other business in the area (Rawai and Chalong) and urgently and seriously enforce the laws regarding the illegal release of untreated wastewater,” Governor Norraphat said.