Speaking to The Phuket News today (Mar 6), Acting Director Surachet Jitmet said that after he learned the news about the black-water canal from The Phuket News on Mar 2, he went to investigate the area and the industries nearby.
“After I was contacted by The Phuket News I went to inspect the area including the Tesco Lotus store and Makro.
“As we (Rawai Municipality) have never dredged this waterway before, the waterway is full of leaves, soil and garbage that has piled up for a long time. When the water from households and the treated water from Tesco flows into the canal it causes sediments and becomes black,” he explained.
“Sediments in the waterway cause sulfur dioxide which kills fish and other marine life in the area.
“To solve this problem, we have to dredge the canal and the public works division will be responsible for the work. For me, I have to make sure that the industries nearby treat their wastewater before releasing it into the waterway, “ he said.
Rawai Public Works Division officials together with Rawai Municipality councilor Somchai Tanarak, Moo 5 village headman Danan Sriman and his assistant also went to assess the canal at 9:30am yesterday (Mar 5).
“After returning to the area yesterday I talked with Rawai Mayor Arun Solos and he promised to urge the Public Works Division to lay out a plan for the dredging of the canal,” said Mr Danan.
Kittipong Taktam of the Rawai Municipality Division of Public Works told The Phuket News today, “Yesterday we went to the canal to check where a backhoe can gain the entry, what can be removed from the area. There are a lot of which are difficult to move.
“Yesterday’s visit was just a preliminary survey. We have to go to the area again to measure the width and length of the canal to be dredged. After that, we will draw the canal plan and set the prices,” said Mr Kittipong.
Asked when he would return to the area, Mr Kittipong said, “I’m not sure about the date yet because we are now just in the process of planning the project.”
Photos of the canal provided to The Phuket News show fish dead in the water, presenting the ominous possibility that the level of contaminants in the polluted are killing fish and other marine life in the area.
Rawai Municipality councillor Sak Kiewdam led an inspection of the small canal, which empties in Chalong Bay little more than 700 metres south of Chalong Pier last Thursday (Mar 1). (See story here.)