The site currently remains a bare field except for an expansive plinth and nine bronze statues of the Phuket Heroines, sisters Thao Thepkrasattri and Thao Srisoonthorn, and seven fellow defenders costing B26 million.
The landscaping will begin in May, confirmed Watcharin Patomwatthanapong, Chief Administrative Officer of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO).
“We have a budget of B42 million to improve the landscaping at the entrance and elsewhere at the 10 rai park,” he said.
“The plans have already been drawn up and include new gardens, a healthy zone for exercise, new toilet blocks and a water-pump station to help clear any floodwaters,” he added.
Koraticha Wattanapan, of the Thao Thepkrasattri Thao Srisoonthorn Foundation (click here), confirmed that a further B300,000 will be spent on installing two new altars on which to place offerings when making merit to honour the two Heroines and their fellow defenders represented on the tableau: Phraya Thongpoon Na Thalang, Prang, Jui, Phraya Tian Prateep Na Thalang, Thongpeang, Neam and Thong.
“We will raise the funds needed to install two new altars, which each will be 80cm tall, 140cm wide and 300cm long,” Ms Koraticha added.
The main structure of the new altars will be cement, topped with granite.
“If we cannot raise enough the full B300,000 needed, then the altars will not be topped with granite,” Ms Koraticha said.
“Although we have yet to secure nay donors, I am confident we can raise the money,” she added.
The original plans for the park, initially dubbed Khok Chana Pama (Victory over the Burmese Hill), accounted for a 96-rai park around the mound with displays allowing visitors to learn more about the famous battle and Phuket’s past.
Work on the park, budgeted at B350 million, was scheduled for completion on January 23, 2014, apart from the centrepiece. (See story here.)