The December 31 deadline was first warned by V/Gov Chokdee himself only earlier this month. (See story here.)
Then Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada only nine days later, on December 11, warned that the mass demolitions “must” be carried out by the new year. (See story here.)
Yet, V/Gov Chokdee today (Dec 21) said that the mass razing will not happen before the self-set deadline – as bureaucrats have yet to complete the “formalisation of approvals” required in order to carry out the demolitions.
“We have the manpower from both the Royal Thai Navy and the Cherng Talay OrBorTor (Tambon Administration Organisation) are ready to carry out the demolitions, but we have to wait for another official approval from PPAO,” V/Gov Chokdee said.
“But we still have to wait for written confirmation from the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) that the legal process is complete and that their buildings along the beachfront can be taken down.”
Meanwhile, the PPAO in turn is waiting on a letter from the Cherng Talay OrBorTor confirming that the buildings can now be torn down.
This permission is needed as the PPAO gave the Cherng Talay OrBorTor, the authority to manage the PPAO buildings at Surin beach on the PPAO’s behalf, explained Mr Watcharin Patomwattanapong, acting president of the PPAO.
However, Cherng Talay OrBorTor deputy chief Vachira Sakulchit told The Phuket News today that the formal written consent that the PPAO is waiting for was actually sent last week.
“We sent the written request for the PPAO to demolish the buildings, but we still have yet to receive an answer,” Mr Vachira said.
To this, Mr Watcharin replied only that his office would do all it can to expedite the legalities needed in order for the demolition to go ahead.
“As soon as we receive the written request for demolition from the Cherng Talay OrBorTor, we will try our best to rush the legal process,” he said.
“We want every step going according to the law. The process could take about two weeks, but there is no guarantee this will all be done before the new year,” Mr Watcharin added.