More than 30 officers and 60 police are present for the demolition, including Royal Thai Navy personnel and Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) chief MaAnn Samran.
The demolition team began pulling down the buildings just before 9am after serving months of notice to tenants to vacate their premises.
Already destroyed are the Catch and Bimi beach clubs as well as Pradab and Red’s Tablecloth restaurants. Work on deconstructing Zazada, at the northern end of Surin Beach, is underway.
As recently as Monday (Apr 18), about 36 tenants who occupy the Surin beachfront buildings urged the Phuket Governor to at least delay the deadline – and even to reconsider the demolitions altogether.
However, Phuket Governor Chamreon Tipayapongtada only assured the tenants that officials will act in full accordance of the law. (See story here.)
Officials have long maintained that the buildings are being destroyed so that Surin Beach could be “restored to its natural beauty.
Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat yesterday (Apr 19) noted that Phuket has 50 beaches, and that Surin Beach was to become a beach honouring HM The King and Queen.
“At present, the land adjoining Surin Beach has been encroached by beach operators both Thai and foreigner, however, on April 20 officials will visit the area and demolish all illegal structures, and in one year Phuket must transform it into Rajabhakti Park, a place of education for the future,” he said. (See story here.)