A new scourge has hit Thailand's main resort island of Phuket and beach tourists. Since last month, the authorities have been fighting for the cleanliness of the beaches and the opportunity to freely enter the sea – algae are blooming, which prevent tourists from swimming and sunbathing on the shore. After each cleaning, a new portion of algae is thrown onto the coast.
According to Phuketnews, the popular Patong authorities and local environmental authorities are thinking about preventive measures to combat coastal pollution, as tourists refuse to use the unsightly beach and complain about disgrace and an unpleasant smell.
What has been done so far? Patong Mayor Chalermsak Manisri hosted a meeting attended by more than 50 officials, including Wattanapong Suksai, head of department at the Phuket Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE Phuket) last Friday. Officials meet to discuss algae problem at crowded Patong Beach.
Algal blooms remain an ongoing problem, which has led to a significant drain on the resources of the Department of Public Health and the Environment of Patong Municipality, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources. Employees with equipment in their hands massively go out to clean the beaches, work all day, and upon returning after a while they are again met by the coastline littered with algae. The amount of marine plants collected was not reported, but judging by the shots taken at the time of cleaning, their number is significant.
“The dirty beach affects the rest of tourists who want to swim in the Patong Beach area. Since there are many tourists traveling every day now, measures must be taken to prevent and take into account all aspects,” the official said.
In addition, at the official meeting, the problems of mooring boats in the bay and “solving problems with wastewater were discussed. At the same time, the report published by the authorities did not indicate what measures should be taken to eliminate them. Remarkably, the report made no mention of the only wastewater treatment plant in Patong, whose expansion project is still ongoing, nor of the drainage network throughout the city, nor of any water quality tests carried out by environmental authorities.
< p>Earlier this month, Wattanapong, head of the MNRE in Phuket, warned hotels, condominiums, large housing projects and other tourism establishments that they could face fines of up to $1 million baht (2.1 million rubles) if they fail to provide required annual monitoring reports from the Initial Environmental Review (IEE) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. There are more than 2,000 such sites. However, according to him, by February 6, the MNRE in Phuket received only a few hundred messages.
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