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Patong Mayor Pian Keesin makes a point during his ''performance'' presentation

Mayor Drives Patong Tunnel, One-Way and New Tax

Thursday, March 24, 2011
PATONG Mayor Pian Keesin put his political muscle behind reversing the one-way system, the Patong Hill tunnel, buried power lines, and a new environmental tax on street vendors yesterday.

He also said that in his opinion, Patong could realistically sustain no more than 50,000 rooms for tourism and it was approaching 40,000 now.

Phuket's media turned out in numbers for Mayor Pian's annual address, and so did his Patong council supporters, neatly dressed in black suits and flowers.

Members of the public were hard to find, perhaps intimidated by the luxurious surroundings of the Kee Resort's Grand Hall when previous gatherings have been held in public spaces at ground level.

Taking the stage near a screen that said '' Leading Patong to be the greatest tourist attraction,'' Mayor Pian ranged far and wide in spelling out his vision for the future of Patong.

Flooding Mayor Pian pointed out that the days of dramatic flooding in Patong were over - improved drainage had solved that traditional problem.

Water recycling The government had committed a budget and it would happen soon.

The tunnel Mayor Pian said the tunnel would also do away with the need to pump water up the hill. A large parking lot on the Kathu side near the entrance would allow riders to leave their motorcycles and commute via shuttle buses, easing pressure on Patong's roads. The old steep and windy road will stay - but buses, trucks and motorcycles will not be permitted to use it. The chances of the tunnel going ahead? ''100 percent,'' he said.

One-way reversal Patong's one-way system would become ant-clockwise after this high season ''for sure'' and it would be legal, safer, and better for business, Mayor Pian said.

New tax A new tax is planned for street vendors who often dump their product residue in drains or public places. The tax would be devoted to ameliorating the environmental effects.

Patong power A three kilometre stretch of the main road behind Jungceylon would have power and other wiring placed underground at a cost of one billion baht, Mayor Pian said, making the route one of the most desirable business zones for the future.

Patong Pride In an effort to make the Patong gay festival a highlight of the year, Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukban is to be sent to Rio for the famous annual carnival there to learn how Patong could improve its version.

Tsunami Mayor Pian said that he had confidence in the tsunami early warning system that was now in place but was less sure that Patong could dim its lighting permanently to stave off global warming.

The mayor is up for reelection next year.
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Comments

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I can just picture Chairat on a Rio float. All his dreams coming true!

Posted by mike on March 24, 2011 09:59

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Chairat goes to Rio.. I can only imagine !!

Posted by LivinLOS on March 24, 2011 10:10

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personally I'm not that keen on tunnel only because I don't believe the infrastructure in Patong can handle the onslaught of traffic...Don't know why he's cutting off motorbikes from the hill...I'd rather take my bike on the hill

Posted by ziig on March 24, 2011 10:44

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No word about tuk-tuk, jet-ski and touts bad behaviors!
So, Khun Pian promises underground wires, a tunnel and other populist changes in order to keep quiet his voters as the billion baht projects are a dream that may never be realised in a near future as approval and money is from Bangkok.
We do not have to forget that the true patong natives (3-5000 people) are involved in: tuk-tuk, jet-ski, motorcycle & car rental, chairs and sun-umbrella rental and small street businesses... and there are the VOTERS...

Posted by Whistle-Blower on March 24, 2011 10:54

Editor Comment:

Most of us understand that voters vote, Whistle-Blower. It's a democracy. People who seek change usually go along to public events and make their views plain. When the people who want change express their views in public forums, change may stand a chance.

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I am from a country with many tunnels!
I know well about the safety systems, maintenance, traffic rules and law enforcement needed to ensure those tunnels will not turn into traps killing people.
We are not even able yet to secure the electric cables at our Tsunami towers from public beaches which are stolen almost yearly and which are only discovered after the Tsunami drills.
This tunnel will be in fact a death trap considering our current capabilities and will to enforce rules and law.
I can only imagine what will happen in a tunnel at Phuket used by all kinds of vehicles with faulty brakes, vehicles which are often overloaded, often steered by drunk drivers, with kids on motorbikes, with 4-6 people on motorbikes, with gas cylinders on motorbikes, vehicles without working lights. etc. etc.
Better work and fix the current road with proper quality space and non-slip tarmac, enforce traffic rules, ensure vehicles are road-worthy etc.

Posted by Mr. K on March 24, 2011 11:18

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Tunnels require constant ventilation very expensive ongoing maintenance, special precautions for fire, standby breakdown vehicles breakdown plus emergency escape routes.

Posted by Alan Cooke on March 24, 2011 11:48

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'Making the road behind Jungceylon a desired business zone'- so that's what that motley collection of potholes connected by random bits of tarmac is - a road 55555. Surely it would be better to get the power lines off the beach Road, Bangla and Rat-U-Thit- the existing business zones. Where there's potholes there's brass though I guess.

Posted by Mister Ree on March 24, 2011 12:15

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Hmmm, so now when travelling by motorbike you will be forced to travel through the tunnel and quite likely behind a clapped out old bus/truck/tuk tuk spewing out plumes of black smoke. That'll be nice for those who regularly ride that route to look forward to in the future. Anyway who is going to use these shuttle bus services unless its free and quickly covers most of Patong. Can't imagine many people who are just about to enter the tunnel suddenly stopping, then waiting for a bus come to drop them somewhere near where they wanna be. And finally an extra tax for street vendors who sell chicken on a stick or a piece of melon for 10 baht or those despicable vendors who destroy the environment by pouring what's left of their noodle soup down the drain...How about concentrating on getting the average Thai to pay any tax!

Posted by chalongian on March 24, 2011 12:22

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Happy holiday on tax payer's money to Chairat!

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on March 24, 2011 12:24

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Was nothing said about jet skis or tuk tuks? 2 of the hottest topics in Patong tourism.

Posted by Phuket Kop on March 24, 2011 13:56

Editor Comment:

Perhaps someone with an interest in those topics should have gone along, and asked.

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Did the mayor omit the problems with tuk tuks, jet skis etc. or did he just gloss them over?

Posted by Obvious problems on March 24, 2011 14:06

Editor Comment:

No questions, no answers.

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i remember a song about a dreamer, ahh yes super tramp . nothing but a dreamer.

Posted by lord jim on March 24, 2011 15:33

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editor seeing how you only put comments that fit your need on here. why don't you just quit commenting your self?

Posted by john s on March 24, 2011 16:04

Editor Comment:

We don't do anything of the kind, john. A full and frank discussion of Phuket issues is what we'd like. But we won't allow people to post misinformation or myths, or to make comments that are libellous. Commenters who do their research and have something to add are welcome. There are plenty of chat sites where everything you say will be published. But not here.

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no questions no answers... So I guess those of us that could not attend can't depend on our news source to ask those questions their readers have been asking? Guess that's our answer.

Posted by Nito on March 24, 2011 16:40

Editor Comment:

This is your first ever comment, Nito. How are we expected to know what you'd like us to ask?

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I admit I was foolish enough to read these websites when I first became a resident of Phuket in hopes of news and information. Now I simply read it and the comments for amusement. I have been here long enough to learn how things work. I truly wished I could've known this great Island years ago. Not another doomsayer just saddened by what has been allowed to happen. I have lived in several different places in Thailand, observed culture, traditions, and lifestyles. That can't be found very much in Phuket. Truly we are our own worst enemies. Carry on ED, your blindness and empty stories brighten our days. For things that actually matter, we'll find out when it happens.

Posted by Nito on March 24, 2011 18:14

Editor Comment:

Blindness? Empty stories? I don't think so, Nito. But you're free to have your opinions.

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so does that mean that motorbikes will not be allowed in the tunnel or on the hill road??

Posted by another steve on March 24, 2011 18:39

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As Nito said 'I admit I was foolish enough to read these websites when I first became a resident of Phuket in hopes of news and information. Now I simply read it and the comments for amusement."
Hit the nail right on the head Nito...most of the purported 6000 hits per day would also read it for the amusement value[ or as we say "the cringe value" Ed sure does come out with some amusing replies.[As in weird amusing}

Posted by davidj on March 24, 2011 20:04

Editor Comment:

And you should see the commenters who have nothing to say, and rely on others to tell them what to say, and how to say it. That's serious, serious cringe.

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Sorry dear chalongian,
you are not update about the price of melon and fruit in Patong. It's already up only 50%: it costs 15 baht, everywhere..
They up the prices before the taxes come..

Posted by dave on March 24, 2011 20:17

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How can the tax the street vendors when it is against the law to use any public space such as beaches, streets and sidewalks for commercial activities? TIT.

Posted by christian on March 25, 2011 10:11

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"Leading Patong to be the greatest tourist attraction"

I wonder if that is for the jet-skis, tuks tuks, higher prices, or the fact that the place smells like an open sewer. And lets not forget that 9 million Baht sign with a viewing platform that one cannot actually get to.

Posted by Lee on March 26, 2011 13:35


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