Phuket Gazette

PHUKET CITY: Cabinet has approved a 2010 budget that includes ten billion baht (approx US$ 295 million) in funding for Phuket under the Finance Ministry’s ‘Thai Khem Khaeng’ (Strong Thailand) stimulus package.

The new budget green lights projects intended to solidify Phuket’s position as one of Southeast Asia’s leading tourist destinations. Highlights of the plan include a major airport expansion, improvements to roads and transport infrastructure, new schools and construction of an international convention and exhibition center.

Plans for a world-class convention center on the island have come and gone for almost two decades, with numerous sites considered and plans unveiled. Under the latest plan, the center is to be built on Treasury Department land in Mai Khao, near the Sarasin Bridge.

The lion’s share of the newly approved budget, 5.8 billion baht, is slated for an expansion of Phuket International Airport that will increase transit capacity from 6.5 million to 12.5 million passengers annually.

An additional 2.8 billion baht is earmarked for the convention and exhibition center, which will be built without a hotel and some other facilities that were included in the original proposal.

Phuket MP Raywat Areerob of the Democrat Party said Mai Khao and Thalang in general stood to benefit in many ways from the convention center, including an improved road network with overpasses.

The Mai Khao location will also make the center more easily accessible to people driving in from Phang Nga and Krabi, he said.

Some have criticized the location as too remote from the island’s main population centers to be practical.

Other projects approved under the plan include 100 million baht for a new indoor stadium at Saphan Hin, 400 million baht for an overpass or tunnel at the Darasamuth School Intersection on the bypass road, and approximately 90 million baht for infrastructure improvements, including paving of dirt roads.

Mr Raywat said the funds should be available after next month.

Construction of the convention center should take two or three years, he said.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for the airport expansion work was completed earlier this year, but plans still need to be drawn up and finalized before it can go out to bid, he said.

The Darasamuth School Intersection flyover (or tunnel) would be the most labor intensive of the smaller projects.

Still in the very early stages of its extensive EIA preparation, it could take up to five years to complete, he said.
– Atchaa Khamlo

2

What about the rotten public water supply? Half of the island is not even connected. In some areas, the pressure is low and supply drops out often for days.

Or how about taking some more electric cables underground?

Increasing the capacity of the airport and adding a convention center will only worsen the water and electric supply.

Posted by Mr. Worry December 30, 2009 01:04:34PM

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3

No transport system, I see. What are Phuket's planners thinking about?

Posted by Joker December 30, 2009 01:29:00PM

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5

Expansion of the airport is a good idea, but what about a local transport system?

 I speak to tourists every day, and none of them understands why there is no public transport between the beaches. So I have to tell the 'tuk-tuk power' story over and over again – boring and embarrassing for every Phuket resident.

With all the funds available for stimulating the economy and Phuket tourism, it seems the government now has a golden opportunity to build a modern and honest coastal transport system which the tourists will enjoy, respect and recommend to their friends.

Posted by Hotel owner Patong December 30, 2009 03:06:35PM

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6

400 million baht for an overpass and only 90 million for infrastructure improvements. What are they smoking? Phuket would do well to look at the excellent and CHEAP transport system in Curitiba, Brazil. Work on getting the cars off the road, rather than making it easier to drive!

They need to set up a workable public transport system which would also create jobs. With 400 million they could be the model for public transport in Thailand. What are they waiting for?

Posted by girl about town December 30, 2009 03:51:38PM

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7

And I forgot. A convention center in Mai Khao - GREAT IDEA. I am sure tons of people would plan a conference 45 minutes away from ANYTHING, and with no hotel. Good luck with that....

Posted by girl about town December 30, 2009 03:54:37PM

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8

Bravo!,Phuket's powers r certainly lacking any eye for the future. There's no mention of alieviating any of the existing problems in all the overtaxed infrastructure systems, i.e., water, sanitation, transport, etc. How about a trash-to-energy facility that uses the heat generated to distill sea water, and a distribution system to the beach communities.

I'm sick of hearing the water trucks park in front of me everyday with its noisy pump, just to fill the daily needs of a small restaurant and 10 bungalows. And of course all the large and dangerous water trucks racing about and clogging the streets and roads during the busiest time of the year.

Phuket is living far in the far past. Wake up now! Make a plan!

Posted by Capt Miguel December 30, 2009 04:25:36PM

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0    0

9

Expansion of the airport is a good idea, but what about a local transport system?

 I speak to tourists every day, and none of them understands why there is no public transport between the beaches. So I have to tell the 'tuk-tuk power' story over and over again – boring and embarrassing for every Phuket resident.

With all the funds available for stimulating the economy and Phuket tourism, it seems the government now has a golden opportunity to build a modern and honest coastal transport system which the tourists will enjoy, respect and recommend to their friends.

Posted by Hotel owner Patong

I absolutley agree. I can't see how doubling the potential number of tourists will work without first putting an end to tuk-tuk maffia misery and installing a viable public transport system. There is now an e-petition to the Governor to ban tuk-tuks. Follow this link if you would like to sign it. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tuk-tuk/

Posted by Snapper December 30, 2009 05:58:39PM

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0    0

10

It's about time to think what people really need. Basic essentials of life. Food, Water, Home, Power, Transportation. If we have good public transport we do not need more roads and it will be better for Phuket's environment too. Please think about what we really need and spend that money on things that that will be good for Phuket – not just for some who will benefit directly from a project.

Posted by aussiejoy December 30, 2009 07:14:56PM

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0    0

12

"Quote " 400 million baht for an overpass and only 90 million for infrastructure improvements. What are they smoking?" Good point. Don't worry. 50% of the allocation will go to feasibility studies conducted by 'friends' and most of the rest will evaporate quietly. Same thing next year when it does a 'Lazarus'.

Unfortunately I don't foresee any short term solution to the tuk-tuk problem. The conditions that enable the cartel to exist cannot be eradicated overnight. It will require several generations of educated and understanding officials following the rules of law. Like so many posts on this and other forums, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by concerned December 30, 2009 08:39:51PM

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13

Quite obvious to me that fewer and fewer tourists are coming here, and for very good reason. Phuket and indeed Thailand must address the long standing issues of gang operations and their aggressive tactics. They've ruined the reputation of this once beautiful country. Phuket in particular is struggling to cope with the amount of traffic already on its roads. Lack of proper infrastructure and planning will certainly result in the system breaking down.

If Phuket wants tourists, then they must make every effort to accommodate them. Otherwise you can kiss goodbye to the tourist industry. Either do something or basically you can send thousands of the workers here back to their home provinces to work in the rice fields. Because there won't be any more tourists coming here given that there are so many countries which are making an effort to welcome them.

Posted by reader December 31, 2009 09:08:27AM

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0    0

14

All these comments and suggestions are all very good and I agree with them. But do you think the powers that be will take any notice?

Posted by alan December 31, 2009 03:04:46PM

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0    0

14

All these comments and suggestions are all very good and I agree with them. But do you think the powers that be will take any notice?

Posted by alan December 31, 2009 03:04:46PM

Reply

0    0

13

Quite obvious to me that fewer and fewer tourists are coming here, and for very good reason. Phuket and indeed Thailand must address the long standing issues of gang operations and their aggressive tactics. They've ruined the reputation of this once beautiful country. Phuket in particular is struggling to cope with the amount of traffic already on its roads. Lack of proper infrastructure and planning will certainly result in the system breaking down.

If Phuket wants tourists, then they must make every effort to accommodate them. Otherwise you can kiss goodbye to the tourist industry. Either do something or basically you can send thousands of the workers here back to their home provinces to work in the rice fields. Because there won't be any more tourists coming here given that there are so many countries which are making an effort to welcome them.

Posted by reader December 31, 2009 09:08:27AM

Reply

0    0

12

"Quote " 400 million baht for an overpass and only 90 million for infrastructure improvements. What are they smoking?" Good point. Don't worry. 50% of the allocation will go to feasibility studies conducted by 'friends' and most of the rest will evaporate quietly. Same thing next year when it does a 'Lazarus'.

Unfortunately I don't foresee any short term solution to the tuk-tuk problem. The conditions that enable the cartel to exist cannot be eradicated overnight. It will require several generations of educated and understanding officials following the rules of law. Like so many posts on this and other forums, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by concerned December 30, 2009 08:39:51PM

Reply

0    0

10

It's about time to think what people really need. Basic essentials of life. Food, Water, Home, Power, Transportation. If we have good public transport we do not need more roads and it will be better for Phuket's environment too. Please think about what we really need and spend that money on things that that will be good for Phuket – not just for some who will benefit directly from a project.

Posted by aussiejoy December 30, 2009 07:14:56PM

Reply

0    0

9

Expansion of the airport is a good idea, but what about a local transport system?

 I speak to tourists every day, and none of them understands why there is no public transport between the beaches. So I have to tell the 'tuk-tuk power' story over and over again – boring and embarrassing for every Phuket resident.

With all the funds available for stimulating the economy and Phuket tourism, it seems the government now has a golden opportunity to build a modern and honest coastal transport system which the tourists will enjoy, respect and recommend to their friends.

Posted by Hotel owner Patong

I absolutley agree. I can't see how doubling the potential number of tourists will work without first putting an end to tuk-tuk maffia misery and installing a viable public transport system. There is now an e-petition to the Governor to ban tuk-tuks. Follow this link if you would like to sign it. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tuk-tuk/

Posted by Snapper December 30, 2009 05:58:39PM

Reply

0    0

8

Bravo!,Phuket's powers r certainly lacking any eye for the future. There's no mention of alieviating any of the existing problems in all the overtaxed infrastructure systems, i.e., water, sanitation, transport, etc. How about a trash-to-energy facility that uses the heat generated to distill sea water, and a distribution system to the beach communities.

I'm sick of hearing the water trucks park in front of me everyday with its noisy pump, just to fill the daily needs of a small restaurant and 10 bungalows. And of course all the large and dangerous water trucks racing about and clogging the streets and roads during the busiest time of the year.

Phuket is living far in the far past. Wake up now! Make a plan!

Posted by Capt Miguel December 30, 2009 04:25:36PM

Reply

0    0

7

And I forgot. A convention center in Mai Khao - GREAT IDEA. I am sure tons of people would plan a conference 45 minutes away from ANYTHING, and with no hotel. Good luck with that....

Posted by girl about town December 30, 2009 03:54:37PM

Reply

0    0

6

400 million baht for an overpass and only 90 million for infrastructure improvements. What are they smoking? Phuket would do well to look at the excellent and CHEAP transport system in Curitiba, Brazil. Work on getting the cars off the road, rather than making it easier to drive!

They need to set up a workable public transport system which would also create jobs. With 400 million they could be the model for public transport in Thailand. What are they waiting for?

Posted by girl about town December 30, 2009 03:51:38PM

Reply

0    0

5

Expansion of the airport is a good idea, but what about a local transport system?

 I speak to tourists every day, and none of them understands why there is no public transport between the beaches. So I have to tell the 'tuk-tuk power' story over and over again – boring and embarrassing for every Phuket resident.

With all the funds available for stimulating the economy and Phuket tourism, it seems the government now has a golden opportunity to build a modern and honest coastal transport system which the tourists will enjoy, respect and recommend to their friends.

Posted by Hotel owner Patong December 30, 2009 03:06:35PM

Reply

0    0

3

No transport system, I see. What are Phuket's planners thinking about?

Posted by Joker December 30, 2009 01:29:00PM

Reply

0    0

2

What about the rotten public water supply? Half of the island is not even connected. In some areas, the pressure is low and supply drops out often for days.

Or how about taking some more electric cables underground?

Increasing the capacity of the airport and adding a convention center will only worsen the water and electric supply.

Posted by Mr. Worry December 30, 2009 01:04:34PM

Reply

0    0

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