Chalong Pier is a major departure point for thousands of tourists boarding day-trips to nearby islands each day.
Although located within the Chalong Municipality area, Chalong Pier is operated by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO or OrBorJor), which collects fees from all operators using the pier for garbage collection and maintenance.
Governor Phakaphong ordered Muang Phuket District Chief Wikrom Jaktee to investigate why the trash was piling up along the pier after he received a tip-off informing him of the situation, reported the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department.
The piles of garbage, reeking of rotting waste, were in open sight to thousands of tourists boarding and disembarking tour boats using the pier.
The PPAO usually collects the garbage from along the pier between 4-5am each day. However, the garbage had not been cleared for three days as the PPAO garbage truck for Chalong Pier had broken down, said the report.
The Governor ordered Muang Phuket District Chief Wikrom to take urgent action to inspect the pier and to order Chalong Municipality to dispatch workers to clear the mess up, the report added.
Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol acted quickly, ordering officers from the Chalong Municipality Public Health and Environment Division to remove the trash. All of the trash was removed within two hours.
Officials at the PPAO have now had a meeting about the issue, the Phuket PR Dept office reported.
The PPAO has about 20 staff to look after Chalong Pier, including garbage collectors. “But some positions are paid low salaries – about B9,000 a month – which has resulted in people leaving their jobs, including garbage collectors,” the report said.
The PPAO will now collect the trash from 5-6am every day, including public holidays, the PR Dept noted.
In the long term, the PPAO plans to buy some more garbage trucks to serve the pier, the agency said.