Mr MaAan broke the news in an exclusive interview with The Phuket News’s sister Thai-language publication Khao Phuket following a public meeting at the Thalang District Office on Dec 1.
The meeting was held after more than 100 disgruntled local residents and beach operators massed at Surin Beach on Nov 27 to present a list of demands to be answered in the hopes raising the standard of the beach so that it becomes more attractive to tourists. (See story here.)
“The building of the Surin Beach seawall will go ahead, but the project is just going slowly,” Mr MaAan told Khao Phuket.
However, Mr MaAnn would not elaborate any further on the issue.
The Dec 1 meeting was also held with the aim of clearing up “misunderstandings” about alleged duplicity in allowing beach operators to serve tourists on the sands at Surin Beach.
The final conclusion from the meeting was that no vendors, temporary of permanent, would be allowed to operate on the beach. (See story here.)
Speaking about the beach vendor issues, Mr MaAnn said, “Starting with sunbeds and umbrellas. We have already talked about this issue. Every government office still has problem with this issue, including police, because they do not agree for operators to sell in public areas.
“Surin Beach is an honour beach as King Rama 9 visited here in 1959. This means we should conserve the nature that is here,” he explained.
“We do understand resident’s problems, but every occupation has its problems. Everyone must find solutions together,” he said.
With regards to vendors’ claims that double standards were being applied between beach bed and umbrella vendors, Mr MaAnn said, “There are no double standards. The only standard we have is that beds and umbrellas are not allowed. If they (operators and tourists) came to the beach, why do they have to put umbrellas. They should absorb the real temperature of the nature where they are visiting.”
Turning his attention to resident’s demands that lifeguards and equipment be provided for tourists, Mr MaAnn refused to hire lifeguards and rescue equipment.
“This is the responsibility of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor),”he said.
He added that his decision was to prevent any duplicate hiring problem.
Moreover, Mr MaAan also explained that the issue of public toilets being installed at the beach was now in the hands of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning.
“These toilets were designed as part of the plans for the Surin Public Park.
“However, the OrBorTor will solve the problem by renting mobile toilets for six months from December until April. The rental fee might not be more than B150,000.
“The Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning is going to design [the permanent] toilets [that will be built] within Surin Public Park,” he added.
Former Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan on Jan 19 confirmed to The Phuket News that plans to build a B800 million Rajabhakti Park at Surin Beach had been scrapped and that a lesser costing public park would replace it.
At that time, Gov Chockchai said, “We have now cancelled all plans to build the Rajabhakti Park at Surin Beach. We have now decided to build a park which will be named Surin Public Park.” (See story here.)