On 20th August 2012 a group of sand trading companies and Phuket building contractors issued a letter to Phuket Governor Mr.Tri Ackaradecha. The letter was issued by a representative of the group Mr.Pairog Orpatanakul from Tri Pada to Mr.Sumran Sinthong of the Board of Phuket Chamber of Commerce (representatives for the governor). Demonstrators claimed that building contractors are encountering a growing problem with regards to the amount of building sand available for them.
Mr.Pairog said “After the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested the sand miners in Thay Muang, Phang Nga in July 2012, they also banned any further digging from the site and any sand there was seized. Sand traders and construction businesses in Phuket have suffered a lot as a result. Phuket’s sand traders now have to purchase sand from other provinces, and unfortunately there is not enough to meet their demands and it is also higher in price. It is affecting the traders and soon it will have an impact on the broader economy. This sand is a crucial component for the building industry. We would like to ask the government to resolve the problem and coordinate with other agencies to allow searches for alternative resources in the vicinity. We need them to allow that sand dunes can be sucked up until the case has been completed. The government’s regulations have to be clear about where the sand can be dug from and they should set a fair price.”
He added “Because of this problem, the sand price has increased significantly from 500 Baht a cubic meter to 1,000 Baht. More importantly, there is not enough for the demand of the builders.”