The much-delayed restoration of Pattaya Beach is running badly behind schedule with little chance of an August completion as promised by Mayor Anan Charoenchasri.
Speaking to the July 11 meeting of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association meeting at the Green Park Resort, Marine Department Director Ekaraj Kantaro said that contractors have rebuilt only the 400 northernmost meters of the erosion-worn beachfront since work began in earnest in April.
With 2.3 kilometers of beach left to go, there’s virtually no chance it will be completed by the end of next month, as promised April 23 by the mayor.
Kantaro updated the business leaders on the tormented history of the 500-million-baht-plus project first begun in 2011 after a warning by environmental experts that Pattaya’s sandy shoreline could be wiped away within five years.
The project has been halted several times because of the city’s inability to acquire a source of appropriate sand.
Finally in early March following a 15-month suspension, the sand-refill project halted March 20 when the Marine Department decreed that the sand brought in from Koh Rang, a small island south of Koh Chang, didn’t match Pattaya’s beachfront well enough.
The entire project plan was sent back to consultants at Chulalongkorn University who twice before had recommended the wrong sand. This time, however, they maintain they made the right call.
Kantaro said the sand was “good enough” and, after a few days in the sun, bleached to a color close enough to Pattaya’s native sand.
The first 400 meters already have reopened to tourists and beach vendors. Sellers further down the beach, meanwhile, have been told they will have to relocate as contractors move southward.
Rain, flooding and renewed erosion also has slowed the rebuild, Kantaro said, refusing to rule out further work stoppages due to rainy season flooding.