New Thai PM Promises New roads
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva saw for himself Koh Samui?s bad road condition during a recent visit and promised to do something about it. Mr. Abhisit visited Samui recently to attend a meeting of the Democrat Party held at the Boathouse Hotel. Suratthani provincial administrator Thanee Tueaksuban told the prime minister the 50-kilometer ring road, the islands main artery, is in a state of disrepair and needed immediate attention.
Covered with holes and cracks, the road has been a major cause of road accidents on the island, Thanee said. The drainage system along the road, he added, is also in disarray and has been a major cause of flashflood during heavy rains. Maintenance of Samui roads, according to him, is currently under the Highways Department of the national government. But this responsibility will soon be transferred to the Koh Samui Municipality.
Thanee expressed concern that the transfer could do more harm than good to the current situation. Road maintenance, he said, requires huge funding and he doubts if the municipality would have the money to do the job properly. He proposed that instead of the municipality, the best agency to handle the maintenance and repair of Samui roads in the provincial government of Suratthani.
The provincial government, according to him, has the experience and manpower to do he job. Abhisit promised the provincial administer he would look into his proposal. He guaranteed, however, that no matter which agency would handle the job, adequate funding will be provided for the repair of the ring road.