Pattaya Daily News

22 December 2012 :: 15:12:10 pm 69698

New Koh Samet Port Opens to the Public

The new port and bridge for Koh Samet island has just opened for public use, after construction was temporarily halted due a problem with building permits. Local officials presided over the grand opening. A budget of 170 million THB was designated to design and build the new facility.
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RAYONG – December 21, 2012, [Pattaya Daily News]; Opening ceremonies were held for the new Koh Samet port and bridge, with a group of local government official traveling by speedboat from Ban Phe port for the occasion.

The co-chairmen for the opening ceremony were Mr. Vichit Chartpaisit, Rayong Provincial Governor; and Mr. Piya Pitutecha, chairman of the Provincial Administration Organization.

Earlier, a controversy arose when the Department of Wild Animal Parks and Breeding of Plants had halted construction of the project, because the builder had not secured a building permit that required prior screening and approval from the parks department.

The parks department was also concerned because an Environmental Impact Assessment had not been done prior to construction. The matter became urgent after local officials had set a deadline to shut down the old port and bridge being used because of unsafe conditions.

However, the EIA later requested permission from the parks department for approval to continue to build the new Koh Samet port bridge until it was finished, and permission was granted.

Because the new port and bridge is the only gateway from Koh Samet island to the mainland, the urgency of the matter expedited the process of approval and construction, so local business and people that depend on the port bridge would not be adversely affected.

Mr. Piya Pitutecha, the chairman of Provincial Administration Organization said that the government sector made it a priority that the bridge be available for use by people in the area. In the future, the operation officers will take care of and develop the new Koh Samet port bridge to be more complete, and will collect the service fees, he said.

The new port and bridge is accessible from both on the left side and the right side, and has followed standard construction, and features a distinctive decorative figure that resembles the flute of Phra Aphaimanee, the giantess in Thai literature, “Phra Aphaimanee,” whom Soonthornphu, the world poet, composed in a mythical story. A building on the central island also has likenesses of many characters that represent the symbol of Koh Samed.

Local authorities will continue to develop Koh Samet to be an impressive tourism destination, said Mr. Piya, who also thanked the government departments for realizing the importance of the new Koh Samet port bridge, and allowing construction to continue to completion. Now the tourists can be served, and people in the Rayong area will be able to maintain their stable revenue without disruption.

The Provincial Administration Organization also has plans to develop a fresh water supply on the island, and East Water company has joined to support for the budget and is planning to prepare to operate a plant that will convert ocean water to fresh water. Other future construction includes the building of a wastewater pond and public utility.

The local government has joined with the Treasury Department and Khao Laemya National Park, Koh Samet island branch, to develop Koh Samet to be more self sustaining and to remain within the district of Rayong province permanently.

Mr. Vichit Chartpaisit, Rayong Provincial Governor, said that the cooperation of the government resulted from seeing the problem that would have resulted if the people were unable to use the bridge, which has a vital functional purpose.

A budget of 170 million THB was used in designing the port bridge to have figure look like the flute of Phra Aphaimanee, the leading actor of literature of Soonthornphu, the world poet and referred to as the exotic island in the fable. The artistic design is meant for Koh Samet to be the symbol of the new destination of tourism of Rayong province.

Now the project is 100% complete and ready to open for commercial service for residents and tourists. The new port and bridge not only upgrades the tourism facilities of Rayong province to international standards, but also promote the tourism of government according to the government policy that has proclaimed the year 2012 to be the year of “Amazing Thailand.”

Photo : Internet   Category : Community News

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