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When the road hazard in Phuket is a building

For more than a decade the incomplete building on the street that has become known as “Soi Banzaan” in Patong has stood blocking half the street, with not a single step by officials the rectify the “ultimate road hazard”. Want to know why it is there and why nothing is being done about it, read on for the very limited responses The Phuket News has been able to obtain from the officials themselves...

patongtransportaccidentsconstruction
By The Phuket News

Sunday 21 January 2018, 11:00AM


Construction of the still-incomplete building began when the street – which although is open to the public, is actually on private land – was still only one-lane wide. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

Construction of the still-incomplete building began when the street – which although is open to the public, is actually on private land – was still only one-lane wide. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

QUESTION

Why does the building on Soi Banzaan protrude into the middle of the street? Is/was the owner(s) so ‘arrogant' as to believe that this would be allowed?

But no matter who “owns” this building, or the “rights” and “wrongs” of it, it is a massive safety hazard. When Soi Banzaan floods, which it does all the time with any heavy downpour, it creates a very dangerous flood area as the street narrows there so much the water flows much more quickly through that point in the street, creating eddies and very fast-moving water. People often come off their bikes there or stumble directly because of this.

Why do they not do something about it (the local government/municipality. It creates horrendous traffic congestion, in particular during high season and daily at about 5pm when all the market traders turn up early and park their mobile stalls next to or near Banzaan market for about 45 minutes. Because the market traders are allowed to block Soi Banzaan by parking adjacent to the market at this time, the road becomes heavy with traffic and as this building protrudes so much it does not allow for cars to be able to pass by, either way at the same time. This causes horrendous traffic tailbacks.

If Soi Banzaan is a private street, just like Soi Sansabai, surely there must be legislation that supersedes any jurisdiction on matters involving private roads when it comes to the issue of health and safety. Why has the local municipality allowed this construction to remain there in these circumstances?

This street is so heavily used by a HUGE number of people every day, and this construction, we believe that it is a massive health and safety issue.

Can the residents of Soi Banzaan or even nearby areas or actually are any residents, Thai or otherwise, allowed to make formal complaints, or some sort of petition regarding the matter?

Can the local government come to check this out so they can see what a mess this is and what happens daily on Soi Banzaan for many years because of this building? Does Thai law not require – even on private streets where public access has been granted – the owners of the street to take responsibility to do something about this building?

If the local municipality cannot tear down the building surely they could remove the fencing and at very little cost (relatively speaking) they could resurface the area behind it with concrete and tarmac so that the building could remain (for now) until the matter was settled, in order to have complete access for both sides of the road where this construction is situated.

– Long-term resident, Patong

ANSWER

Patong Municipality can reveal that according to our tax map information, Soi Banzaan in Patong is a street privately co-owned by Sompis Sae-gum, whose address is on Patak Rd, Karon, Mueang, and Witthaya Thaveewongsub, whose address on, Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd, Patong, Kathu.

The building in question is owned by Lertchai Srikurecha, address on Soi Sukhumvit 39, Khlong Tan Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok.

QSI International School Phuket

– Fax signed Patong Municipality in response to a fax sent by The Phuket News (as officials initially refused to answer any questions directly).

Patong Municipality’s Public Works division can confirm that the building in question was built over 10 years ago.

However, the Public Works division does not have record of the exact date as it was a private project.

The street was at the time only one lane wide. Therefore the building, which was intended to be a commercial building, was not protruding into the street when it was built.

Years later, the street was extended to be two lanes, causing the building to remain protruding.

Patong Municipality has in the past advised to Mr Lertchai to remove at least the protruding part of the building to create a straight and safer street, and offered assistance to do so.

Mr Lertchai, however, has failed to respond to numerous attempts by Patong Municipality over the years to fix the problem, including multiple and consistent attempts by former Patong Mayor Pian Keesin.

There is no law which enables Patong Municipality to take action against Mr Lertchai as both the building and the surrounding street are privately owned.

Patong Municipality wants to fix this problem, however, has no legal authority to act upon it.

– A Patong Municipality Public Works Division engineer, who declined to be named.

 

 

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Kurt | 30 January 2018 - 12:34:03

This whole 12 years old matter ( or even longer) is a good example of the never mind/not care and passive attitude.
Not even the slightest safety thinking and actions of the Government.
We talk here about a "ultimate road hazard".

simon01 | 23 January 2018 - 19:23:46

I can tell you they were working on this in 2005 and stopped in 2006 as I remember work men there. but then sometime in 2006 work stopped.

Kurt | 22 January 2018 - 11:17:42

Same as that skeleton in front of Central festival.
Partly covered by bill board, but so visible for the traffic at that junction.
Complete it or take it down. Now it is just a sign of incompetence and what is possible inactive on Phuket.
Project builders should give a financial guaranty to Government to finish what they start.

LaLaLand | 22 January 2018 - 06:32:34

The building in question has been there in its current state at least since 2004. Now we're talking about abandoned buildings why can't something be done to the unfinished project in the swing close to Simon cabaret. Nice sight for tourists entering from the Karon side. A real eyesore...

Kurt | 21 January 2018 - 11:48:34

This Soi Banzaan madness is already existing since 2005, perhaps longer.
Were the Phuket Officials in more than 12 years time never able to make Soi Banzaan a 'One way' road for purpose of public safety?

Kurt | 21 January 2018 - 11:18:41

So, if Soi's Banzaan and Sansabai are private roads, who is responsible for road safety there? 
Should there not be a sign:" You are entering on your own reponsibility "?
Is it not a bit 'pre historic' that roads on 'Smart Phuket' still can be private owned?
'Patong City' is not living anymore in times that wild pigs were walking on Patong Beach.

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