Mr MaAnn said he became aware that beach chair and umbrella operators had returned to the beach last week.
"They are not allowed. No trade of any kind is allowed on the beach,” Mr MaAnn told The Phuket News today (Mar 16).
Under the beach management policy implemented during the days of the military-run National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Surin Beach was designated a “virgin beach”, meaning a “vendor-free beach”, as it was to be left bare for all people to enjoy, Mr MaAnn repeated.
Of note, Phuket was the only province in the country where a “beach management policy” was introduced.
Meanwhile, the vendors remain on the beach today, Mr MaAnn confirmed.
“We have already told the local villagers and the beach operators. In addition to sending them a warning letters, we have installed four signs on the beach to remind them that no trading is allowed on the beach,” Mr MaAnn said today.
"Now we coordinating with the Phuket Beach Management Committee [which regulates all beaches in Phuket] for legal proceedings,” Mr MaAnn confirmed.
Mr MaAnn said that he at this stage he did not know how much the fines would be.
However, he said that the beach vendors were in breach of both the Public Health Act, which bans the distribution of goods in public places or ways without express permission from the local authority, and were encroaching on government land.
The local vendors return to Surin Beach follows the Cherng Talay OrBorTor posting a notice on Dec 23 ordering all vendors to vacate the sands at Surin Beach by Jan 12 – or face having their business demolished by the OrBorTor and the vendors themselves face legal action.
Not wanting to tempt fate, the beach vendors all vacated their areas immediately, but later filed an appeal with the Phuket Governor for the right to make a living by serving tourists on the beach. (See story here.)