Chonburi officials began planning the next phase of development for Bali Hai Pier following the eviction of hundreds of parked speedboats.
Deputy Gov. Chawalit Saeng-Uthai chaired the Nov. 22 meeting with Marine Department and other authorities at Pattaya City Hall.
The master plan for the pier calls for creation of a public space to facilitate the planned International Fleet Show in 2017. That and improvements to dilapidated facilities were discussed.
Chawalit said that after the removal of the trailered boats and the demolition of illegal facilities, it was time that to move forward on new development. In the meeting, four focus areas were decided upon: policies and management, public works and environment, security and traffic on land, and on the sea.
Committees covering all four topics will be set up and were to be approved by Royal Thai Navy Region 1 commander Vice Adm. Apiracht Kongsompong during his Nov. 29 visit to Pattaya.
Chawalit noted that repair of the Bali Hai Bridge already is moving forward and four marinas for speedboats will be created and new security cameras installed.
Budget requests also have been made to create multipurpose facilities for activities in the area. Two buildings have been proposed so Pattaya can facilitate the Fleet Show and other events.
Change in launch times
Boat owners did win permission to change the hours they are permitted to launch or land from the previous 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
At a Nov. 24 meeting, 14th Military Circle deputy commander Gen. Popanan Luangpanuwat said boats can now use two ramps in Jomtien Beach from 4-9 a.m. and again at 3-6 p.m.
Since demolishing the convenient boat ramp at Bali Hai Pier, the military has been trying to move boat owners to Jomtien Beach. But operators balked at the long, traffic-snarled commute and inconvenient times to use the ramps, so they’ve simply pulled up their watercraft by the dozens on Pattaya Beach or left them anchored offshore.
Boat owners complained their vessels would be damaged if left offshore too long.
The army gave in to their requests, but stipulated that pickup trucks, not tractors, should be used to tow boat trailers.
The army also wants speedboat operators to use the beach near the former pier at Walking Street for passengers to embark and disembark. However, boat operators pointed out the narrow shore area is inappropriate for many boats, so the military will go back to the drawing board at a later meeting.