On September 20th, 100 villagers from Baan Mon Community in Patong, led by Panit Sombat, went to submit a complaint letter to Wichai Praisa-ngob, the Governor of Phuket, about the proposed Patong tunnel construction. The villagers claimed that if the tunnel construction passed into their community it would directly affect their way of life.
The villagers said that Baan Mon was the only community that had preserved Patong’s original way of life. The tunnel construction would destroy that. Moreover, if the tunnel really would be constructed, then the government needed to expropriate their land to use in the construction. This worried them because they would need to find their new residences and the cost of land in Patong was very expensive.
Their main careers are in the Baan Mon area; if their land is expropriated, they asked how would they make a living? Moreover, Baan Mon village is the location for a monument to mark where H.M. the King Bhumipol visited Phuket in 1959, and where a road connected to the tunnel would be constructed to pass above. The villagers thought it was not proper to build anything above the monument. Therefore, they wanted the related sectors to consider this issue and hear from the villagers more before approving the project.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Phuket said that it was good that the villagers expressed their opinions about the project. If they approved any project, the government realized that the project must least affect local residents. The tunnel construction needs to pass a lot more approval procedures, so the governor assured that he would assign the related sectors to find out solutions to the problems mentioned by the villagers.