Mother nature lends helping hand in water crisis
Recent heavy rainfall increases volume in Chonburi reservoirs
Recent data shows that during the months of February and
April, rainfall has increased the volume of water in the Bangpra reservoir
to 19.20 million cubic meters. This means an easing of tap water shortages
for some areas of Chonburi.
with Mother Nature’s help the local reservoir is still very low, although
Boonsom Yutithampinyo, head of Chonburi Irrigation Management and
Development Bureau said there should be enough water to supply our needs for
now, and with the rainy season coming, more help is on the way.
The Bangpra reservoir is the main source of water supply
for many locales in Chonburi Province. Its low level has been creating
severe water shortages since the beginning of this year. In January the
reservoir contained only 13 million cubic meters of water, which was
insufficient to supply an increasing demand and Chonburi residents suffered
through a shortage of tap water.
Boonsom Yutithampinyo, head of Chonburi Irrigation
Management and Development Bureau said that he has good news for Pattaya
City. He pointed out that Pattaya and nearby areas receive water supply from
Chark Nork reservoir, which has a capacity of 7.03 million cubic meters.
However, in January the reservoir’s volume declined to only 1.429 million
cubic meters. But heavy rainfall within the past three months has increased
the volume of water by 500,000 cubic meters, which, he says, is sufficient
now to meet water demands in Pattaya City, Banglamung, Sattahip, and
Boonsom said, "Nevertheless, residents in Huay Yai
Sub-district are still not receiving enough water because the village is
situated on higher ground and the water pressure is weak.
"The authorities plan to lay a pipeline directly
from the Huay Saphan reservoir to help increase the water volume and
pressure in the Chark Nork reservoir to reduce tap water shortages in Huay
Yai. The project will cost about 20 million baht and is due to start in
2004," Boonsom said.
Boonsom also explained that the water shortage problem in
Pattaya and nearby areas was solved to some degree by using water from Huay
Saphan reservoir. Total capacity in this reservoir is 3.84 million cubic
meters. Presently the Huay Saphan reservoir is holding 3.80 million cubic
meters which means it is nearly full.
Boonsom said the authority’s new water supply
adjustment was recently announced and that Chonburi Irrigation Bureau will
be producing tap water to supply the whole Chonburi area at a total of
100,000 cubic meters a day. Bangpra reservoir will allocate 60,000 cubic
meters of the total raw water supply.
Boonsom said short-term water saving and distribution management plans
might be eased since the region’s rainy season starts in June and the
province is no longer suffering from acute shortages.
U.S. and Thailand to hold Cobra Gold ’03 Joint Exercise May 15-29
Pattaya extends a big “Welcome ashore” message
Embassy of the United States of America
The armed forces of Thailand, Singapore and the United
States will conduct exercise Cobra Gold ’03 in Thailand May 15-29, 2003.
Cobra Gold ’03 is a regularly-scheduled joint/combined multilateral
exercise and is the latest in the continuing series of U.S.-Thai military
exercises designed to ensure regional peace and strengthen the ability of
the Royal Thai armed forces to defend Thailand or respond to regional
Cobra Gold ’03 (CG-03) is one of the largest exercises
involving U.S. forces in the Pacific Command. This year’s exercise will
focus on peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
operations. The exercise will also include the planning and execution of a
noncombatant evacuation operation. As in all previous Cobra Gold exercises,
this exercise will include joint-combined land, sea and air operations. The
exercise will also assist the people of Thailand through combined Thai-U.S.
medical and civil affairs projects.
Approximately 5,200 U.S. service members will
participate, including elements of U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC); U.S. Marine
Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC); U.S. Navy, Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) and U.S.
Pacific Air Forces (PACAF); as well as Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC),
Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Military Sealift
Command (MSC) and reserve elements from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine
Corps. Participating Thai forces will number approximately 5,400 and will
include elements of the Royal Thai Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.
Participating Singaporean forces will number approximately 100 personnel.
Editors note: Whilst here, the US Military will be
conducting several community relations projects, such as helping local
schools (Wat Thong Hong School, Ban Huang Hin School, and Ban Nong Rai
School in Rayong are three that come to mind), as well as contributing to
local charity projects. Many military personnel will also take their R&R
in Pattaya and the surrounding environs, bringing in a much-needed infusion
of tourist business. Local businesses are once again very happy to see the
US military return, and are laying out the welcome mat. Welcome back!
Mayor says city didn’t put a hole in the sidewalk that took a bite out of Englishman’s leg
Brit’s wife says don’t let it happen again (please)
The story of 38-year-old Englishman Steven Adderson, who
last week accidentally fell into a hole in Walking Street, has been a hot
topic of discussion around town.
dastardly hole in the sidewalk took a bite out of Steven Adderson’s leg -
but not to worry, the city is looking into it...
On the night of April 24, Sawang Boriboon Foundation life
saving volunteers rushed to Walking Street to help a foreigner in great
distress after he slipped and fell into a carelessly covered drain. The
rescue team found Steven sitting on the sidewalk writhing in pain. His right
leg had been slashed to the bone when a loose metal lid meant to cover a
drain penetrated his flesh. Steven was transferred to Pattaya Memorial
Hospital for treatment.
Panadda Pungya, age 28, explained that she and her
husband Steven had gone to Walking Street for the evening and were on their
way home. As Steven was walking he stepped on an old and rusty metal cover
which gave way under him and he plunged into a hole, gashing his leg in the
Panadda said it was an unlucky accident, but pleaded for
the city to be more careful and that those responsible for the condition of
public walkways should consider the public’s welfare.
Responding to the incident, Mayor Pairat
Suttithamrongsawat said the hole that Steven fell into was not the work of
the city and that it belonged to a private business. He said the
establishment connected their wastewater drainage with the city’s main
pipe, which was installed under the footpath along Walking Street, to drain
wastewater from their venue.
The mayor added that city hall would not ignore the matter and the
authorities will order the responsible business operator to fix it. He also
urged hotel and business operators to properly maintain properties and
premises so that accidents like this can be prevented.
City begins rabies eradication
project on Larn Island
Continued efforts to eradicate rabies in Pattaya City and
its surrounding areas have been extended to Larn Island. Deputy Mayor
Wutisak Remkijikarn officially presided over the launch of the "Larn
Island rabies eradication" project by sending a team of 70 volunteers
to comb the island for animals to vaccinate against the disease.
The project was initiated to eventually eradicate this
life threatening disease and ensure the safety of residents and visitors to
The city has received complete cooperation from the Larn
Island community, the Chonburi Livestock Department, Thappraya Animal
Welfare, and the Chonburi Center for Disease Control.
Authorities are determined to ensure that Larn Island is
free of rabies. Officials have set a target of vaccinating more than 80% of
the island’s dog and cat population and will implement birth control for
225 female dogs and cats and sterilization procedures for an additional 135
Team leaders said they expected to catch about 200 stray
animals on the island, which equates to approximately 80 percent of the
total animal population.
A large number of stray dogs that have already been
vaccinated and sterilized will be taken to the Thappraya Animal Welfare
Center in Srakaew Province.
Iron-stomach contestants make quick work of crocodile eggs in egg eating competition
The Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile farm held a
particularly bizarre competition, a crocodile egg eating contest, to mark
the May 1 Labor Day celebration.
boxing champion Yodsanan 3-K Battery (right) participated in the crocodile
egg eating contest. Could this be the secret to his success?
winner, Chana Suksabai, shown here looking as if he is about to barf,
managed to woof down 10 crocodile eggs in 4 minutes.
The contest, arranged by the management of the theme
park, had 30 competitors eating 10 crocodile eggs in the fastest time and
battling it out for a first prize of 10,000 baht.
Contestants were able to improve the taste by adding
sauce, salt or soy sauce, which was probably a welcome inclusion in the
With a voracious appetitive, winner Chana Suksabai from
Nongyai consumed all 10 eggs in just four minutes. Chakarin Chinpakdee
closely followed him with a time of 4 minutes 30 seconds and Saiyant Pongsuk
with 5 minutes. All winners collected their prize money from Park managing
director, Suan Phanomwattanakul.
Suan said that the Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile
intends host the event annually on May 1 and that it can be developed into a
much larger contest in the future.
For visitors who want to give this exotic food a try, the park offers
crocodile eggs for consumption at 3 for 100 baht.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony held on May 8
The annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang near
the Grand Palace in Bangkok, and the accompanying Cultivation Ceremony held
at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha the day before, are of great
significance in Thailand. This year the events took place on May 8.
During the ceremonies, appropriate strains of different
grains for cultivating are selected just prior to the planting season, and
rituals are performed to interpret the year’s harvest. Grain selection is
an important consideration when planting crops, as the crops rely on soil,
ample rainfall and other natural factors.
The Cultivation Ceremony is also performed to help keep
the different grains free from disease, producing a bountiful harvest.
His Majesty the King, accompanied by Her Majesty the
Queen, always preside over the Cultivation Ceremony held at the Temple of
the Emerald Buddha (Phrasriratanasasadaram).
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony signals the beginning of the
planting season in Thailand. Two well cared for oxen of the same color pull
an ancient plough, breaking the ground so that sacred seeds may be planted.
Two other oxen wait in reserve.
Two Brahman priests sprinkling sacred water along the
path lead the royal procession, with its nine-tiered royal umbrella.
Two pairs of female guardians carry grain in one gold and
one silver container following behind the plough, seeding the tilled ground.
Three circuits tilling the earth around Sanam Luang are
completed and at the end the oxen are offered seven types of foods to select
from: rice grain, corn, peas, sesame, liqueur, water and grass. Brahman
priests then interpret their selection.
Following the ceremony, many people collect the seeds
from the ground to keep as sacred objects promising a prosperous year, while
others sow the ceremonial seeds mixed in with other seeds to sanctify the
Plutaluang receives ‘Drugs Free Zone’ flag from Sattahip district chief
A declaration of war on drugs by the central government,
spearheaded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, imposed tough polices to
wipe out Thailand’s illegal drug users and dealers within three months
starting from February 1 of this year. Some areas were more successful than
others. Plutaluang Sub-district, Sattahip was one of the areas that achieved
a satisfactory level of suppression.
Lt. Col. Noppadol Suthiserm, Plutaluang sub-district police station deputy
superintendent announced that Plutaluang is now a "Drugs Free
Sattahip district chief, Surapol Tiensuwan presided over
a ceremony to declare the district a "Drugs Free Zone", and flags
and plaques were presented at the community trade center.
Pol. Lt. Col. Noppadol Suthiserm, Plutaluang sub-district
police station deputy superintendent gave a report of the war on drugs,
during which he said Plutaluang was heavily hit by the spread of drug abuse,
especially methamphetamine pills, or what the Thais call "yaba".
Noppadol said, "There has been much cooperation from
the locals in the Plutaluang area. Some surrendered to their crimes, some
turned themselves in to police and others helped police find drugs users and
dealers. Many quit using drugs and became good citizens."
The deputy superintendent said 93 percent of people
involved in drugs are known, have been recorded, and will be monitored.
Seven percent were forced to leave the area.
The deputy superintendent explained that Plutaluang is
basically a combination of 8 villages. Those villages cooperatively set up
their own committee to screen families involved with drugs and separate them
from the rest of the community. The community also set up a rehab campaign
for the addicted and coordinated with police to watch their behavior before
and after the rehab procedure.
People who report in as addicts and go through
rehabilitation will have their urine tested regularly. The community has
also organized sports activities for their members with police and
governmental officials to bind relationships and reduce the gap between
officials and citizens.
Surapol Tiensuwan, Sattahip district chief presented Drugs Free Zone
flags to community leaders who coordinated the campaign. He also presented
plaques to governmental officials, police, and military personnel who worked
especially hard to support the anti-drugs effort. Finally, the district
chief proudly announced Plutaluang a drug free zone.
Effort to ease traffic woes in Pattaya part of national project
Pattaya officials meet university reps and receive ten-step plan
A nationwide program to ease traffic snarls in Thai
cities is including Pattaya City on its agenda, and now, thankfully, Pattaya
is being studied by experts from the King Mongkut University of Technology
Tawatchai Laosirihongtong, director of the research and development center
for traffic and transportation planning at King Mongkut University of
Technology in Thonburi, has a ten-point plan that he believes will help
solve Pattaya’s traffic woes.
Professor Dr. Tawatchai Laosirihongtong, director of the
research and development center for traffic and transportation planning from
the university told officials that the center has been instructed by the
central government to study and come up with a solution to traffic problems
in large cities and provincial centers.
Bangkok has been the focus of the most attention, but
surrounding provinces experiencing rapid growth now require urgent
attention. This includes Chonburi and Pattaya.
Dr. Tawatchai said, "The center has inspected all
major areas of the city and has formed a master plan to ease current
problems and address potential future problems, and will focus on
convenience, safety and how to save time and money on development. The
initial stages include planning and rectification from 1-3 years with a
budget of 1 billion baht and will include 8 months of close monitoring of
the primary stages before proceeding with the next step."
The planning stages, taken from the overall picture of
the city traffic and transportation, have been broken down into 10 sections:
1) Traffic system planning, 2) Safe work plan; 3) Developing a public
transport system; 4) Development plan concerning roadside vendors; 5) Road
and equipment maintenance; 6) Education on rules and regulations for various
departments; 7) Product delivery transportation in the city; 8) Public
transport development; 9) Tourist destination development and finally; 10)
Environmental development planning.
The study revealed that Pattaya City has a number of
inherent problems, specifically: chaotic parking, problems created by baht
buses randomly picking up and dropping off passengers at any point along the
road, damage to road surface caused by construction, and the road
construction currently affecting Pattaya Central Road which is creating mass
chaos on the city’s streets.
Dr. Tawatchai recently met with Pattaya officials and outlined the
overall strategic plan, which he says should effectively resolve current
traffic problems. During his meeting with Pattaya official, Dr. Tawatchai
also solicited opinions and information from the various concerned
departments to proceed with rectifying traffic and transportation issues in
Foreign resident robbed of valuables
Another snatch and run theft on Pattaya streets
Italian national Francesco Gallo was enjoying a quiet
evening along the beachfront in North Pattaya with his girlfriend in the
early hours of April 29 when two youths on a motorcycle rode past, snatching
a bag from the victim’s motorbike. The crime visibly shook the pair and
ruined their pleasant night, as they were robbed of over 400,000 baht in
cash, Mr. Gallo’s passport and a mobile telephone.
national Francesco Gallo (seated center) lost over 400,000 baht in cash, his
passport and a mobile telephone when two youths on a motorcycle snatched his
bag from the front of his motorbike.
Approximately 15 minutes after it happened, the couple
reported it to police in Soi 9. Officers radioed mobile units to be on the
lookout for a pair of youths riding an unregistered motorcycle, which, of
course, narrowed down the search to, oh, about a third of the populace.
Luckily, however, when police showed the couple mug shots
of previous offenders they recognized one of the thieves. Criminal
investigation officers are searching for the man and his accomplice and, if
properly motivated, could expect to make an arrest shortly.
Sadly these incidents are on the rise. Thieves mainly
target mobile telephones and unattended bags, as in this case.
The rising toll of victims signals that police cannot
catch the thieves or effectively prevent such crimes from occurring. For
whatever reason, lack of resources, not enough manpower or quality controls
within the bureau, law enforcement is sorely ineffective.
The public should be aware that prevention is the best method and always
use common sense when carrying valuables. Do not carry large amounts of cash
or wear expensive jewelry.
Members of vehicle theft gang caught during attempt to run police roadblock
Teenage theft ring tricked motorists out of their vehicles with ruse of intentional accidents
Responding to a rash of reports of stolen vehicles,
General Sanae Khamthiang, commander of Police Bureau Region 2 Chonburi, led
a Pattaya and Chonburi investigating team to track a car and motorcycle
theft gang that has been operating throughout Chonburi Province.
paraded out 7 members of the auto theft gang.
Victims reported to police that the gang would cunningly
try to stop their cars by intentionally hitting their cars and then getting
them to stop for a settlement. When the victims stepped out of their
vehicles, the gang would threaten them with guns and make off with their
On the morning of April 27, while crime division police
were conducting a routine road check, they spotted a white Honda car
reported to be a vehicle the gang used in their operations. Officers ordered
the car to stop but it sped through the checkpoint.
After a long Hollywood-style car chase, the car was
stopped and the driver and the passenger were dragged out. Interrogation
revealed the men in the car were indeed members of the vehicle theft ring.
More questioning led to the revelation that the gang was composed of 16
members including five 15 year old boys and girls, and nine other men.
Police found 6 cars and 4 motorcycles at their residence and arrested
some of the gang members. Police are still searching for the rest.
Drunk climbs onto roof of house in South Pattaya, startling occupants
Perhaps the booze didn’t get him high enough
In state of severe inebriation, 38 year old Chai Kidtuk
for no obvious reason climbed on the roof of a house belonging to Duen
Pongte and Nolie Strymann (sic) located in the Soi Kor Pai area at around
11.30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
The couple was in the living room with their two-year-old
baby at the time. Startled when their dog began barking loudly they went to
investigate. That’s when they discovered the drunken man had climbed onto
the roof. They immediately called for police assistance.
Officers arrived within minutes, give or take, to escort
the man off to jail. The couple told officers that they did not want to
press charges, as the man was too incoherent to make any logical decisions.
They did however, asked police to put him up for the night in Soi 9 for his
Officers did so and left Chai Kidtuk to sleep off his
stupor in Soi 9 before being released in the morning.
Government to review gun legislation
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ordered a review of
legislation relating to gun control and licensing, in what will be seen as a
bid to stave off heavy international criticism of apparent government
inaction over the huge number of killings carried out by drug traders trying
to silence potential informants.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said
that Thaksin had asked him to review legislation relating to gun control,
war weapons and gun licensing, saying that gun laws were related to crime,
and the security of persons and property, and that the government would have
to be increasingly strict on gun control in the future.
Gen. Chavalit said that a gun culture was particularly
prevalent in the northern, southern and eastern regions of the country, due
to the perceived need to protect various interests.
Gen. Chavalit, a former defense minister, admitted that
most of those in control of Thailand’s gunmen were uniformed officials
with a huge amount of local influence, but said that solving the problem
would not be difficult as long as the government and local authorities
tackled it in the same way as it had faced the war against drugs.
"One way of solving the problem is by modifying
legislation. Existing legislation is too old. It needs modification,
particularly legislation relating to gun licensing. Existing laws allow
people to carry guns to protect themselves and their property, or to hunt
animals. This is no longer appropriate," Gen Chavalit said. (TNA)
Tourist police bust ‘yaba’ dealer in Walking Street
“Easy pickings” as he didn’t see them coming
Another exciting public drug bust scene occurred last
week when Pattaya tourist police officers, led by Police Captain Jirasak
Sukhonthasap, Sub-Inspector of the Pattaya tourist police station, were
patrolling Walking Street in South Pattaya.
Spotting a Thai man suspiciously handing something to a
foreigner in front of a bar, officers made a move to check on both men. When
the foreigner noticed he was being approached by police he bolted and
disappeared into the crowds. But the cops managed to detain and search the
Kriangkrai (family name withheld), a Nakhorn Sawan
resident, was found with 4 methamphetamine or ‘yaba’ pills in his
possession. Kriangkrai confessed that he had been selling the speed pills to
foreigners in Pattaya for over 4 months. He bought the pills from another
dealer in Soi Diamond at 150 baht per pill and sold them to foreigners at
200-250 baht each. He said he hadn’t notice that police were watching him
while he was handing the drugs to the buyer.
Kriangkrai was arrested and charged with possession and
sale of a class 1 illegal drug.
Belief of invincibility leads to the arrest of gun toting youths
Gang plays out own version of bulletproof monk
A group of teenagers who thought they were bulletproof
were arrested after firing shots into the air and daring police to catch
them. The gang members were each covered in religious tattoos and sporting
Buddhist amulets from a well-know temple in Rayong, making them believe they
youthful gang of tattooed "invincibles" weren’t quite as
untouchable as they thought when police "tattooed" them upside the
head and carted them off to jail.
Pattaya Police responded to a report of shots being fired
in the Na Jomtien area at 2 a.m. on April 30. Officers arrived at the
location to find 5 youths in a pickup truck just leaving the area, paying no
attention to the approaching officers.
Police pursued the truck while radioing for a roadblock
at the intersection of Pattaya-Jomtien and Thepprasit Road. The pick up sped
through the roadblock, narrowly missing officers. Reinforcements were called
in to give chase after the criminals slammed into a police vehicle and sped
off in another direction.
The group then headed back towards Jomtien, where doughty
cops caught up with them at the Leo Village in Banglamung. All five were
captured and a handgun and three 12-gauge shells were confiscated.
The youths, aged from 16 to 26, were taken to the station
for questioning. The 26-year old driver, Mana Khonteang, admitted to ramming
the police car while the others cheered.
While in custody the group was strip-searched and to
officers’ amazement, each of the men had religious tattoos across their
back and wore identical Buddhist amulets. The group admitted that they had
intended to challenge police to prove their invincibility but were detained
before being able to act.
They were each charged with possession of a loaded weapon
in a public place without a license, attempted murder of police officers in
the line of duty and reckless driving causing an accident and injury.
Police impounded the car as evidence and sent each of them to a jail cell
where they could prove their invincibility to the other prisoners.
Naklua Rice Harvest Festival and traditional activities attract huge audience
Naklua’s Rice Harvest Festival, celebrated in the Larn
Pho area, enjoyed the participation of a huge crowd this year, making for
one of the most fun events in the recent history of the festival.
and angels brought their blessings with them to share with the crowd.
The celebration is believed to create good luck for
farmers and build a strong bond between the locals. The kong khao (rice
harvest) festival has been celebrated for decades, but it is has just been
over the past 7 years that it has become an official Larn Pho celebration.
This year the festival was packed with many interesting activities such as
sea boxing or "muay talay", tug-of-war contests and other
traditional Thai games which tested the athletic prowess of those who were
not bothered by the heat.
aim in the slingshot contest.
In the afternoon there were activities involving
traditional customs and children’s games.
The arrival of Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat
along with his deputies, city hall administration officers and many
distinguished guests marked the official opening. Ceremonies included the
parading of costumed gods and goddesses giving blessings to people and a
parade of spirits or ghosts receiving donations from people along the side
of the walkways.
A "Tri Bhumi" depicting heaven, earth, and hell performance
delighted the audience. After the ceremony, food collected was equally
shared among the ceremony attendants. In the evening traditional shows and
dances provided more fun entertainment.