The embattled Pattaya Beach facelift project has a new critic and this time it’s one with the power to stop work permanently.
The Marine Department is objecting to the plan – one that already went through environmental studies and public hearings – saying that relocating the beach footpath about six meters toward the sea might violate natural resources laws.
Director Eakaraj Kantaro on Aug. 25 did not explain why the department was objecting now after already signing off on the work plan. But he said the department has paused construction until it can review the project plan and relevant laws.
The revamp calls for Beach Road to be widened by a lane to accommodate 700 new parking spaces. To do that, trees and the current footpath would be moved five to six meters toward the ocean.
Eakaraj said that may intrude on natural watershed land and, thus, would be illegal.
He added that the department now has a problem with several stone walls to cordon off exercise zones. Again, those were in the project plan the Marine Department already approved.
The objection by marine officials came only after an uproar was raised online about the cutting of trees and a group of protestors picketed the work zone, complaining about the 166-million-baht expenditure during the coronavirus pandemic.