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Phuket's beaches need a long-term preservation and protection plan

EXCLUSIVE Beaches Crisis Summit Called

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
PHUKET: All of Phuket's west coast beaches are to come under the scrutiny of the Senate Standing Committee on Tourism on a grand tour tomorrow before a crisis summit over the beaches the following day.

The Minister for Tourism and Sport, Somsak Pureesrisak, will head Thursday's gathering of all of Phuket's mayors - the people who are supposed to protect Phuket's beaches.

The standing committee, chaired by Senator Tunyaratt Achariyachai, herself a Phuket resort owner, will be at the summit as well.

And in a warmup today, Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada gave Phuket's mayors a dressing down for their do-nothing approach to Phuket's beaches.

''You people should be taking the low season to fix the problem,'' he told the mayors at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

''Instead, you've done nothing. Shame on you all.'' He said it might take another tsunami to clean up Phuket's beaches properly.

Phuketwan has said that Phuket's beaches must be saved from commercialisation and poor management. The level of interest in Phuket's beaches could not be more intense right now.

Bangkok's top tourism committee will tomorrow begin a tour from Phuket International Airport with Nai Yang then swing on to Nai Thon then Bang Tao and Surin, Laem Singh, Kamala and Kalim, Patong, Karon, Kata and the rest.

In readiness, Senator Tunyaratt has compiled photographs to show the committee and the minister the problems at the beaches in high season, when the sand disappears under umbrellas and loungers.

With tomorrow's inspection tour followed by Thursday's summit, it appears Phuket's beaches are finally getting the attention they deserve.

Senator Thanyarat has done some research of her own. She says that Surin, the perfect Phuket beach that HRH The King and HRH the Queen visited in the 1950s, was now ''absolutely ugly.''

Vice Governor Jamleran appeared close to losing his temper with the mayors at today's meeting, accusing them of being more interested in the money than protecting Phuket's prized posessions.

Phuketwan does not believe the local mayors can be trusted to properly protect Phuket's beaches.

We have recommended establishment of an independent Phuket Beach Authority to put the money made on Phuket beaches back into preservation and protection for future generations.

Comments

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Regardless of what whoever may think the right approach, emphasis or solution should be, the fact that Phuket issues are getting a LOT more attention from those whose opinions really matter can only be seen as a very positive development indeed.

Senators, Ministers and countless Ambassadors are taking time from their busy schedules to address Phuket issues.

Even if nothing changed in the near future, at least a LOT more people are made aware what SHOULD change.

Eventually there will be someone with much more clout and power than anyone else on Phuket who will put his (or her) foot down and heads start rolling.

Posted by ThaiMike on June 11, 2013 17:12

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I do not understand that nobody is taking care of the situation of Rawai seafront which is becoming dangerous .It seems that there was more sand than concrete in the construction of the seafront walking path.

Posted by Anonymous on June 11, 2013 21:04

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"He said it might take another tsunami to clean up Phuket's beaches properly." - what a thoroughly insensitive and offencive remark! Lots of finger pointing and blaming going on from these high officials - but no positive, co-ordinated suggestions from them.

Posted by Alan on June 11, 2013 21:06

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Actually Alan, that was said after the first Tsunami for the instance of cleaning up Phuket and what he says holds true now as it did all those years ago.
He is not saying that he wants people to die.

Lets hope something will be done.

Phuket Wan's constant commitment to an independent beach authority would be great. Maybe you should suggest this to the Powers that are coming tomorrow.

Posted by Tbs on June 11, 2013 22:38

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Thanks for the clarification. Pity then that Phuketwan chose to run the comment straight after a quote as though he had said it with his current comments. Of course, he didn't mean people should die but it is still insensitive to be said or requoted after nearly 9 years. People's memories, particularly those of the ones affected are not that short.
In Khao Lak, there is very little difference now in the landscape in certain areas between immediately post Tsunami and now as many that have recovered naturally in the intervening years have been scraped clean again by bulldozers and lagoons filled in to be put up speculatively for sale. So uncontrolled development and despoiling of the beaches and surrounding environment is not limited to Phuket by any means.

Posted by Alan on June 12, 2013 22:46

Editor Comment:

The vice governor made his comment about the tsunami at this week's meeting. Tbs wasn't there. The Phuketwan reporter was. Yes, it was insensitive.

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Ed,
Thanks for your reply and apologies for "shooting from the lip."

Posted by Alan on June 13, 2013 19:02


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