The donation was handed over yesterday (Nov 1), confirmed a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The report noted that the donation was made by the Patong Development Foundation, “as a road construction operator”.
“Dr Preechawude” is Founder of the Patong Development Foundation, the report said.
The money was given to the foundation by Tiger Kingdom Phuket, managed by Managing Director “Major General” Kochakorn Chaibutt, added the report.
The report did not explain why Maj Gen Kochakorn or Tiger Kingdom did not make the donation directly to officials, instead of directing it through the foundation.
The report also did not confirm exactly which official or government agency the donation was made to.
The report did not even explain exactly what the donation is for.
The donation is to facilitate the creation of a new road up the Kathu side of Patong Hill, starting from behind the Patong Go-Kart Speedway on Phra Barami Rd in Kathu to the Chao Pho Suea Shrine at the top of the hill.
The opening of the new road would be of direct benefit to Tiger Kingdom, which is located some 500 metres from the Go-Kart track. The road would give the Tiger Kingdom tourism attraction, which keeps tigers in captivity, direct four-wheeled road access to tourists staying in Patong.
The road will be about 2.5 kilometres long and is expected to be completed within two weeks, said the report.
“It is currently in the process of resurfacing the road and slope adjustment before pouring concrete to make it a standard road,” the report said.
The road will be open for public use.
“People can travel safely. It will accelerate the process to be completed in November as a backup route instead of the main road ‘Kathu-Patong’, which is currently being renovated,” the report said.
The report made no mention of what is to happen at the top of the hill where vehicles using the new road will join traffic over the hill. The road over Patong Hill is currently open to motorbikes only.
“We have now cleared the entire route, a distance of about 2.5km, but we still need to adjust the slope of the route in some parts so that cars can use the route easily,” Mr Preechawude said.
“And we will speed up the work to make this reserve road usable in the next two weeks,” he added.
“Accelerating the construction of this road will not only solve the problems of traveling in and out of the Patong area, it is also very important to the economy of the Patong area. We are now entering the [tourism] high season, when businesses in the Patong area and the local economy are expected to be active again after having to stagnate until the town almost became abandoned during the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Preechawude said.
“Patong can’t miss this opportunity. This year’s high season is everyone’s hope. This alternate road is like seizing an ‘opportunity’ that is slipping away, to get it back into our hands again.
“Everyone has made sacrifices for this road, which does not cut through only my land. Many other landowners have made sacrifices as well,” he said.
“In addition, many people have contributed to the construction of this reserve road through Bangla Road Entertainment Entrepreneurs Club and the Patong Development Foundation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their strength. Thank you for participating in the development of Patong, our home town,” Mr Preechawude concluded.