The Marine Department reconfirmed that the rebuilding of Pattaya Beach will be completed by year-end.
Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun, flanked by Department Deputy Commissioner Somchai Sumanatkajonkul and Rattanachai Sutidechanai, the ex-Pattaya councilman who now advises the Tourism and Sports Ministry, announced Aug. 23 the completion of the project will be a landmark for Thailand.
The 500-million-baht-plus project was begun in 2011 after a warning by environmental experts that Pattaya’s sandy shoreline could be wiped away within five years. Various patch jobs delayed the inevitable, but multiple missteps by both Pattaya City Hall and its expensive consultants repeatedly put the project even further behind schedule.
In early March work resumed after a 15-month suspension and again was quickly halted when, again, the sand used didn’t match. The Pattaya Marine Department finally ruled that the sand was good enough and, after a few days in the sun, bleached to a color close enough to Pattaya’s native sand.
Hundreds of meters of the 2.8-kilometer shoreline have been completed. Contractors are working in 300-meter parcels, reopening the sand as they complete each 100 meters.
Anand, one of Thailand’s most-respected elder statesman who has been active in education reform, said that, once completed, Pattaya will become a model for other erosion-ravaged beaches to follow.