A meeting of Phuket officials responsible for solving local traffic problems was chaired by Governor Nisit Jansomwong at the Provincial Hall on the afternoon of Janaury 9. Taking part in the meeting were: President Paiboon Upattising, Sri Suntorn Mayor Worawut Songyot, Chief of Koh Kaew Tambon Administrative Office Kuerkiat Jitkuer, and involved parties including representatives from Phuket Regional Highway Office, Department of Rural Roads, subdistrict headmen, village headmen and community leaders.
According to President Paiboon, a road construction project, to be built under high-voltage power lines which was already approved by former Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob but put on hold for lack of fund, is now being reconsidered by the new Governor Nisit. However, there are still problems with land reclaiming in Tambon Sri Suntorn area. Once the land is acquired, the town-airport road under the high-voltage power line will be constructed using a budget of 30 M Baht. This new route will offer a solution to solve Phuket gridlock, said the President. Apart from above-mentioned project, the followings are planned: • a road running from Jor Su Gong shrine to Prince of Songkla University, using a budget provided by Department of Rural Roads; • an underpass at Chalong Circle; • an underpass in front Tesco Lotus on Bypass road (in addition to the one already completed in front of of Central Festival Phuket) As Phuket is seeing an increase in population in the next five years where the number of tourists is predicted to be 15 million, up from 12 million at present, there is a plan to build a mass transport system in the form of a light rail which is expected to run from Sarasin Bridge to town. A study is being conducted at the moment and the project will be subject to approval by the government. Another project undertaken by PPAO in collaboration with Koh Kaew Subdistrict Administrative Office and Sri Suntorn Municipality is the road from the British International School to Ma Nik Temple. This road, said the President, would solve the traffic gridlock at Tambon Koh Kaew. For this project, the Department of Rural Roads is actively working through the process of land reclaim. However, a survey will be performed in February 2015. PPAO therefore has earmarked a budget for this project for the fiscal year 2016. This road would alleviate traffic gridlock from the Bypass Road to Koh Kaew through to Sri Suntorn area. The President expected this last project to commence two years from now.