Samui municipality given ultimatum to handle garbage
The Surat Thani provincial governor Sunday issued an ultimatum for the Samui Municipality to hire a new firm to dispose over 200,000 tons of accumulated garbage by Saturday.
The governor, Chatpong Chatphum, threatened to have the National Council for Peace and Order chief invoke Article 44 to give him the power to take the problem into his own hands if the municipality keeps dragging feet in hiring a new contractor to dispose the garbage.
The stench from the huge pile of 200,000 tons of garbage on the tiny tourist-destination island, known in the past as a paradise island, prompted local people to file complaints with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also the NCPO chief.
The prime minister told the provincial administration to tackle the problem within a month.
Chatpont said the Samui Municipality must sign a contract to hire a new firm by Saturday so that the garbage would be transported to a landfill on the mainland of Surat Thani. He said the transport of garbage to be buried on the mainland must be done in six months.
The governor said the transport of garbage to a mainland landfill would not contaminate the sea because the garbage would be transported in containers that waste water could not seep out.
After the previous contractor failed to dispose the garbage in line with the contract, the municipality cancelled the contract and planned to hire a new contractor. However, ensued legal dispute prompted the signing of the contract to be delayed by about six months now.
New garbage is accumulating on the island at the rate of 140 tons per day and more than 200,000 tons have piled up during the past two years.