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Thaksin govt's plan for new province scrapped

The deposed government's plan to make Hua Hin and nearby districts in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi a new province is to be scrapped after opinion surveys showed that the majority of residents disapproved of it. The surveys were conducted by local state agencies in the two provinces, said Hua Hin mayor Siripan Kamolpramote.

The plan to form a new province from parts of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi was initiated under the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.

In August last year, the Thaksin cabinet resolved that the new province would comprise Hua Hin and Pran Buri districts, and Sam Roi Yot sub-district of Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Cha-am and Tha Yang districts of Phetchaburi province.

Wirach Piyapornphaiboon, chairman of the Prachuap Khiri Khan Chamber of Commerce, said the plan to create a new province was just a ploy by the deposed government to divide locals.

Scrapping the plan would lead to financial damage for land speculators who have scooped up beach-front land in the two provinces. Those speculators failed to foresee the Sept 19 coup d'etat, said Mr Wirach.

According to Mr Siripan, a reason cited to justify the plan to form a new province was to shorten the distance that locals in the province have to travel back and forth between their homes and the province's civic centre.

Residents in Hua Hin, for example, have to travel about 100km to Prachuap Khiri Khan's city hall to contact administrative authorities.

Prachuap Khiri Khan province recently solved the problem by setting up an administrative service centre in Hua Hin, so locals do not have to make a round trip of around 200km to get minor administrative errands done, said Mr Siripan. Bangkok Post

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