Mabprachan reservoir down to 2 months’ supply of water
Water levels at Mabprachan reservoir have fallen so low that
the pumps can no longer maintain a regular flow, and without substantial
rainfall supplies will be exhausted within two months.
An inspection visit by the Provincial Waterworks Authority
on May 28 was led by Kamol Pacharakorn, director of the Performance Bureau, and
Thanee Thongprachum, Pattaya water supply manager.
Kamol said the reservoir has only 3 million cubic meters of
water, a critically low level for Pattaya. The lower pumping station can’t
suck out enough water to create a regular supply, and engineers have had to dig
a ridge so the water can run under gravity.
Other reservoirs include Huaysaknok and Nong Klangdong,
which also have low water levels, but are not as critical as Mabprachan, which
Kamol said will run dry within two months unless there is substantial rainfall.
He urged Pattaya’s citizens to help by using water economically.
Thanee explained that a similar situation occurred in 1999, when the water
levels fell to the same low level, but the big difference this year is in the
greatly increased number of hotels in Pattaya.
Ronakit Ekasingh appointed deputy mayor
Fills position vacated by Pattana Boonsawat’s resignation
Pattaya Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn on June 1
appointed Ronakit Ekasingh as the city’s new deputy mayor. The appointment
comes after Pattana Boonsawat vacated the position early last month.
newest deputy mayor, Ronakit Ekasingh.
Ronakit has the authority to act on behalf of the mayor
in all aspects of his duties. Following his appointment, city employees, the
local business community, and members of the public congratulated Ronakit on
his new position.
Niran said, “The position of new deputy mayor was a
hard decision with just two or three people being considered for the job.
The city management saw the need for the position to be filled quickly for
the easing of workflow.
“Ronakit has worked at city hall for many years and is
held in high respect in the community for his hard working nature and strong
public relations skills. He was the best person for the job and the
continuation of work from the previous deputy mayor will be seamless.”
Ronakit Ekasingh had previously worked with Pattana on
numerous projects. Until recently he was the acting head of the municipal
“After having worked with the previous deputy mayor,
Pattana, on many, many projects, I feel confident that I can continue his
work successfully and completely,” said Ronakit. “These are important
projects and I will ensure they are completed to make Pattaya a better
place, especially due to its rapid growth and need for order and good
“I ask everyone to cooperate with the city and I will
visit and speak to residents about problems and issues that need attention
under the mayor’s policies.”
Ronakit Ekasingh is 53 years old, and is married with two children. He
completed his high school diploma at St Gabriel’s School, took a
bachelor’s degree at Kasetsart University’s Bangpra campus, and
completed his master’s degree at Business Development Management
City cannot intervene in Soi Regent Marina situation, says deputy mayor
The soi is private property
Business operators in Soi Regent Marina have approached
city hall for help in preventing closure of the soi by the hotel during
renovations. They met with Wattana Chantanawaranont, Pattaya deputy mayor,
and Phichet Utaiwattananont, city engineering office director, concerning
the barrier that will block off the entrance and exit to the soi, and which
will greatly affect their businesses.
Chantanawaranont (right), Pattaya deputy mayor and Phichet Utaiwattananont
(2nd from right), city engineering office director speaks with Regent Marina
The deputy mayor said the city could do little because
the soi is the property of the hotel, and consequently the problem is
between members of the private sector. He did say that the city will make
note of the problem and contact the relevant departments responsible for
Engineering director Phichet said that if the soi
hadn’t been signposted as a private property over a 10-year period, it
could be classified as public property. “However, the Regent Marina has
placed signposts over this period. Unfortunately there is no value in
protesting the issue because it is private property,” he said.
One operator representing the group told officials they still had to pay
1,000 baht per month as a communal maintenance fee and that many business
have willingly paid this. But on top of that the centre has started charging
for parking, albeit for limited space. The road used to be a convenient
thoroughfare but that has stopped and with the barriers going up that will
effectively close off the soi. “If there is no access or road, what will
happen? If we were told before renting in the area, how many people would be
Goats saved from slaughter are donated for breeding
Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook on June 1 presided
over a goat donation ceremony at Jitrabhawan College in Banglamung district.
The ceremony was held in honour of former abbot of the college Prathepkitti
Panyakhun, who had actively preserved the lives of goats and buffalo for
many years. Farmers from the Cow-Buffalo Bank Village in Takhiantia
sub-district came to receive the goats.
Governor Pisit Ketphasook, shown here holding a kid who’s holding a kid,
presided over the goat donation ceremony. These goats are for agricultural
use only: killing them is forbidden.
The first goat saving ceremony was organised on June 1 last year, the
date being former abbot Prathepkitti’s anniversary. Saving the animals
from the slaughterhouse and putting them into a meaningful agricultural
purpose was Prathepkitti’s approach, one that he pursued for twenty years
or more, and the 99 animals were assigned to the Department of Livestock
Development. For this year, a total of 80 ‘scaped goats were donated for
breeding to 20 farmers from Takhiantia.
Quit-cigarettes exhibition marks World No-Smoking Day
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn officially opened a Public
Health Centre exhibition on Soi Buakow May 31 to observe World No-Smoking
Niran Wattanasartsathorn tests his lung ability. No comments about
politicians being full of hot air please...
The exhibition shows how smoking not only destroys the
smoker’s health, but it also troubles surrounding people. Nicotine is
similar to alcohol, making the smoker feel relaxed, but is more dangerous
because tar builds up in the lungs little by little. Normally the lung has
the ability to eject foreign substances, but smoking destroys the lung and
increases the risk of cancer. Cigarettes are also a source of coronary heart
disease and high blood pressure.
Pattaya City through the office of protection and contagious disease
control at the Health and Environmental Department cooperated with
Banglamung Hospital and Bangkok Pattaya Hospital to organise the exhibition.
Officials were on hand to give advice, there was a lung ability test, a
quit-smoking clinic, and other activities designed to wean smokers off the
Changes to be made to U-turns to reduce accident toll
Pattaya’s highway U-turn junctions are accident hazards
and they will be realigned in an effort to cut down the number of accidents,
a meeting called at city hall on May 26 by Sanit Boonmarchai, chairman of the
board of protection and peace, has decided.
Boonmarchai, chairman of the board of protection and peace, was the meeting
Traffic inspector, Police Lieutenant Captain Somchai
Phongsai told the meeting that many of Pattaya’s frequent road accidents
take place at U-turn junctions. Realigning the junctions to provide a flow
lane, allowing drivers to negotiate the U-turn without driving straight into
a direct lane, would reduce the risks of collision with oncoming traffic.
City construction director Pichet Uthaiwattananont said
the first U-turn to be changed would be the one in front of the Toyota
Centre, one of the worst accident black spots. A reflective light cone will
be placed there to warn drivers. However, he said, the best way to reduce
accidents was for drivers to follow traffic regulations.
The meeting also heard complaints about water distribution to the Pattaya
public. Distribution is unfair and uneven. One of the suggestions brought up
was: If those receiving water were required to sign their name as evidence
each time supplies were received, distribution could be controlled.
Changes to Walking Street include later opening time for traffic
Changes will be made to Walking Street following a
representative meeting with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and other
officials at city hall on May 30. Mayor Niran is head of the Walking Street
front entry arch on Walking Street will be replaced, and the new one will
display Thai symbols.
Vice chairman of the Walking Street Committee, Sunthorn
Gangsirikul asked for the 2 a.m. opening time for through traffic to be
changed. This is also closing time for the entertainment establishments, he
said, and consequently there is serious traffic congestion in the street at
that time. It has therefore been agreed that Walking Street will be closed
to traffic until 3 a.m., after which vehicles can pass freely through.
Mayor Niran said that Walking Street is being extended
to the Siam Bay Shore Hotel next to the Bali Hai pier, and an arch is
currently being constructed. Also, the front entry arch is to be replaced,
the existing one having been erected five years ago. The design will be
changed to enhance the image of the street, and both front and rear arches
will be the same.
Sunthorn requested tighter controls over itinerant vendors, such as
those with live animals, and Pattaya police and the tourist police have
agreed to cooperate in reducing the problem.
Long arm of the Swedish taxman catches fugitive in Pattaya
Local immigration police caught up with a Swedish national
in Pattaya after receiving an arrest warrant from the Swedish embassy.
Claes-Hakan Bengtsson, 54, is accused of tax crimes in his home country, the
total amount he allegedly kept back amounting to over 12 million Swedish
kroner (64 million baht). Bengtsson then fled to Pattaya.
Bengtsson, 54, faces deportation from Thailand and prosecution on tax theft in
Immigration officers raided Bengtsson’s apartment, and
Benny Carlson, Nordic liaison officer in Bangkok, accompanied police during
the arrest. Bengtsson was taken to Soi 9 for further questioning.
When presented with a Swedish court order for his arrest,
Bengtsson confessed to his crime. He said that he came to Pattaya even though
he knew he would eventually be caught. He went on to say that he evaded paying
the taxes from a company he opened in Sweden, although he did not reveal which
company it was.
Following questioning, Benny Carlson took Bengtsson’s passport and cut it
into pieces as his right to travel was cancelled by the Swedish government. He
will now be deported back to Sweden to face the charges.
British tourists use forged credit card to buy mobile phone
Two foreign tourists attempting to use a forged credit card
to buy a mobile phone at Carrefour in central Pattaya were apprehended when a
store clerk alerted the police.
citizens Elezkurtaj Sadat and Konomi Vasko were arrested for using forged credit
The crime happened on May 27, when Pattaya police station
received a call from Carrefour. At the store they found Elezkurtaj Sadat, 32,
and Konomi Vasko, 38, both British citizens, who had been using a forged credit
card to buy a Samsung mobile phone, priced at 18,200 baht. The credit card
centre had rejected the card. Upon searching the two men, police found four fake
Visa credit cards.
Taken to the police station, Sadat and Vasko said they had received the four
cards from a friend who had borrowed 2,000 pounds sterling of their money. The
friend had cleared the debt by giving them the cards. Ignoring the fact the
cards were fake they had attempted to purchase the mobile phone. They were
charged with using illegal documentation.
Blacklisted Norwegian found residing in Pattaya
Police to deport him
Pattaya tourist police have tracked down a Norwegian man,
blacklisted since 1997 for working illegally in the Kingdom and overstaying
his visa. Immigration officers have now taken up the case.
take John Olsen into custody for illegally residing in the kingdom.
John Olsen, 51, was taken to the Soi 8 Immigration office
for illegally residing in the kingdom. The superintendent checked out the
man’s history and found that he was already out on bail from drug charges
relating to a May 6 arrest for possession of marijuana. Court proceedings
are still in progress and once Olsen is released he will be deported.
Pol Col Wuttichart Luensudkhan, Pattaya tourist police inspector, said
his information showed that Olsen had served two years in a Swedish prison
for possession of military weapons and distribution of illegal goods. “If
this man stays in Thailand it could be unsafe for society. Once the court
case is over, he will be immediately deported,” said Wuttichart.
Police bring in drunken
man for his own protection
Police picked up a drunken British man at 3 a.m. on June
3, afraid that he was so incapable of helping himself that he could be in
danger of having his property stolen, or of injuring himself.
Officers responding to a call from the radio centre at
Pattaya police station found Robert Thompson, 44, in front of Walking
Street. He had facial injuries and was bleeding, but when asked how he had
been hurt, he couldn’t remember.
Thompson was taken to the police station to sober up
before being sent back to his place of residence.
16-year old girl lies
about her age, steals mobile phone from foreign punter
An Australian tourist who marched a girl to Pattaya
police station for stealing his mobile phone while he was in the bathroom
prior to having sex with her received a shock when officers advised him she
was only 16 years old.
Groski Koming, a 60-year old Australian national, told
the duty officer that he had been taking a walk along South Pattaya Beach
when the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons and has been given the
alias Wan, came up and invited him to go to bed with her for 500 baht.
Koming said he asked her how old she was because she looked so young, and
she told him that she was 20. Satisfied, he accepted her offer and took her
back to his room.
He went to the bathroom to take a shower while the girl
sat on the bed. While he was in the shower, she took his mobile phone and
fled. He followed her and shouted to a motorcycle-taxi driver to help. They
stopped the girl, and Koming decided to take her to the station so that the
police could give her a warning.
Wan said that she was only 16, and had lied about her
age. She admitted snatching the mobile phone. The police warned her and
reminded her that it is illegal for her to perform sexual services, because
she is still a minor.
Youth shot for being
“flashy and annoying”
Tanongsak Choophian, age 20, last week was shot with a
.38mm calibre gun, the bullet hitting him in the left ribs and exiting at
the base of his spine. Doctors had treated the wound and he was out of
Tanongsak told police he had gone to visit his friend
Leenawat (Pai) Kokklin, 20. In the room was a man he didn’t know. After
sitting and talking together for about 20 minutes, the unknown man had told
Tanongsak, “You are flashy and annoying.” He then took a gun from his
waistband and shot Tanongsak, who fell down on the bed. Leenawat and the man
escaped on a motorcycle. Police are looking for a man who dislikes people
with long hair and flashy clothes.
Wealthy German found dead
in house festooned with gay pornography
Jurgen Michael Hardt, a German national, aged 54, passed
away in his sleep on June 3. Police noted he was lying on his back with his
hands and legs extended, that he was wearing nothing except for a pair of
yellow underpants, and that his body was emaciated. There was no sign of a
fight or struggle in the room. On the walls of the bedroom, toilet, kitchen
and living room were pornographic pictures of naked boys.
Police transferred the body to the Medical Jurisprudence
Institute and filed a report with the German Embassy.
Srongyot Piyatha, 28, caretaker at Saengchai Villa 1,
South Pattaya Road, where the deceased had been staying, told police that
the deceased had lung cancer, and that he drank beer every day. On the day
of his death, Hardt, who was reputed to be a wealthy man, had sent Srongyot
out to buy some beer. At 2 a.m. Srongyot noticed the house light was still
on, and coming in to check he had found the body.
Police believe the cause of death was a heart attack, and
that Hardt had been dead for four hours before discovery.
Deputy Mayor Wuttisak meets the people
Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rermkijakarn was the
keynote figure for the “Pattaya City meets the public” session for June,
held at city hall on May 26.
Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rermkijakarn gives an interview at “Pattaya City
meets the public” for the month of June.
Wuttisak said that the two units under his responsibility
are the Sanitation and Environment Department, and the Social Welfare
Department. Much of the work is carried out at the Public Health Centre on
He said that he has several projects in hand, including
helping support lower income families and public hazard victims. Food safety
fairs, volunteer training for environmental protection, and vocational
training to help the unemployed and lower income families are underway.
massage training project organised by Pattaya City.
Amongst the latter are training courses for Thai massage, nail painting
and hair braiding, which offer the opportunity for people to use their spare
time profitably and enlarge their incomes without investing heavily in
equipment and materials.
Free concert showcases motorcycles
Duck Square field in South Pattaya was the venue for the
JRD Festival Free Concert staged on May 28 by motorcycle and scooter
specialist JRD Co Ltd. The show was opened by Santsak Ngamphiches, former
vice minister at the Ministry of Public Health.
Colonel Somnuk Chanket receives a JRD motorcycle on behalf of Pattaya police
A JRD Tornado 1500cc motorcycle, a cruiser in the classic
American style, was presented to Pattaya police station, represented by
station superintendent Police Colonel Somnuk Chanket.
The show featured performances by many well known Thai musicians, and
there was also a Miss JRD contest. A new JRD scooter, the Typhoon-R, was
launched at the event.