Phuket removes encroaching shops on Surin beach

Authorities on Wednesday demolished 36 shops illegally occupying parts of popular Surin beach as part of a campaign to regulate businesses on 50 beaches in this island province.

Naval personnel, police, labourers and excavators were deployed to knock down the beachfront stands after Thalang district authorities and the Choeng Thalay tambon administration organisation put up signs on March 21 telling vendors to disassemble their structures. Most proprietors had cooperated before officers moved in, but not all.Deputy Phuket governor Chokdee Amornrat said on Wednesday the demolition complied with the government’s 2014 policy to reclaim public areas from encroachers.

Many encroaching buildings across Phuket island have been removed, said Mr Chokdee.Clearing of Surin, Lepang and Layan beaches, however, has been delayed by various obstacles, but authorities finally got the go-ahead on Wednesday.

The deputy governor said the operation would take a week. Clearing of On Lepang and Layan beaches will begin on April 27.Shops illegally occupying Surin beach are demolished on Wednesday. Photo by Achadtaya Chuenniran“We have surveyed the number of affected shop operators and asked them to register with Thalang district office. Provincial authorities had earlier given them a grace period of more than two years before the demolition began,“ he said.“Surin beach covers about 100 rai and the demolition will make people see the beauty of the beach. We are duty-bound to enforce the law to protect the natural resources for the benefit of the majority of Phuket people and the country,“ he added.

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