Waterworks and public transport needs more investment and modification.
Due to continuous urban expansion, the 87 sq. km. Municipality of Hua Hin is seeing new development, especially the construction of new buildings mushrooming on a daily basis.
Real estate and property investment from public companies and land developers in Bangkok prefer Hua Hin as an ideal place for condominiums so much that some new construction projects are now taking place in the foothills in the western part of the city. Hua Hin needs city reorganisation urgently.
Highly concerned with this problem, the Department of Public Works and Town and City Planning will formulate a new Hua Hin City Plan this year after the former plan expired almost 10 years ago. This new City Plan will expand the Municipality of Hua Hin to cover the 97 sq. km. area of Hin Lek Fire Sub-District. To deal with the current increasing urban expansion, the DPWTCP will also set up additional infrastructure to effectively and extensively facilitate the need of people in Hua Hin.
Hua Hin is facing infrastructure and public transport requirements as its modernisation and development is growing fast. During summer, face water shortages or so bad water quality will require investors to pay for their own waterworks.
“Hua Hin needs remodeling and reorganisation as it is growing without practical direction. It has water shortage, wastewater and traffic jams. The new City Plan will address these issues so that Hua Hin will remain charming and attractive to visitors worldwide,” said the Director of DPWTCP Mr. Monthon Sudprasert.
900 Million Baht to Tackle Water Shortage
The Mayor of Hua Hin Mr. Nopporn Wutthikul has accepted that traffic jams and water shortage have become major problems of the city for several years and were tending to become more critical without practical solutions. The city is considering many big public projects, namely double-track railway trains and high-speed trains which will make the train station a main stopover for passengers traveling to the south of Thailand. The Hua Hin Municipality should prepare better infrastructure to facilitate fast urban growth in the future.
Recently, the Municipality has proposed a 988.65 million Baht budget from the government to lay water pipes of 20 kilometres from Pran Buri Dam to a reservoir. The proposal was made twice in the national fiscal years of 2012 and 2013, but it was not approved.
If the budget is approved, Mr. Nopporn says the project will take 3 years from 2014 to 2016. Its main activities are:
1. construction of a water piping plant in Khao Laeng and Hua Na for up to 173.23 million Baht;
2. laying water pipes from Pran Buri Dam to Hua Na Waterworks Plant and to a treatment plasnt in Khao Laeng, from Hua Na Waterworks Plant to a reservoir in Damnern Kasem and Boh Fai’s and Bo Fai’s clarifier treatment plants to the water pipes used currently. This will cost 734.66 million Baht; and
3. construction of a waterworks plant that can produce water at a capacity of 250 cubic metres per hour in Boh Fai and a 100,000 cubic metre reservoir for up to 80.76 million Baht.
Water Business Booming
Water shortages in Hua Hin are now becoming a commercial opportunity for local business owners as they introduce drinking water industries.
“Currently, those industries are being built outside the municipal area next to the Provincial Waterworks Authority of Hua Hin. Construction for each costs around 400 to 500 million Baht. Once completed, the industries can produce 700-800 cubic metres of drinking water hourly each day. The owners are asking for permission from the PWA to sell drinking water to Hua Hin Municipality for the cost of 6 to 8 Baht per cubic metre. Currently the Hua Hin Municipality sells drinking water for the cost of 3.50 Baht per cubic metre, so the price proposed by the industries is a bit higher,” said the Mayor of Hua Hin.
Monorail Trains to Solve Traffic Jam
To resolve traffic problems in Hua Hin, the Hua Hin Municipality would initiate a 7-8 kilometer monorail train line on Phetchakasem Road from the centre of the city of Khao Takiab, said Mr. Nopporn. Initially the line will end at the Cicada Market.
“I’ll soon propose this project to the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning and ask them to study how possible it will be. The construction and design will depend on results of the project’s study,” added Mr. Nopporn.
The Mayor of Hua Hin also commented that he was thinking about building a new 4 to 6 lane road for those who want to avoid traffic in the centre of Hua Hin. With a total distance of 15 to 16 kilometres, the road will be in between Hua Hin railways and Phetchakasem Road (Highway No. 4), starting from the Boh Fai Airport to Soi Hua Hin 112.
“The DPWTCP has approved both projects, so we have to launch them immediately as Hua Hin has serious traffic jam during weekends. We’re now digging a tunnel along Phetchakasem Road to facilitate more traffic. In the future, we’ll build a new parking lot and charge all cars parked on the roadside,” said Mr. Nopporn.
Building and Fixing Highways is a Must
The Director of the Prachuab Khirikhan Provincial Expressway (Hua Hin) said that the Department of Highways were fixing highways in and around Hua Hin, starting an extension of Phetchakasem Road and renovating the 1-kilometre landscape of the Hua Na-Pran Buri route. This will cost over 30 million Baht.
“The current Phetchakasem Road will be expended to become a 4-6 lane road so that cars pass in both directions. The road will facilitate increasing traffic in Khao Takiab, Hua Na and Thab Tai,” said the Director.
In 2014, the Department of Highways will receive a budget to coat the surface of Phetchakasem Road from the tunnel to Nong Kae Sub-District as well as in Soi Hua Hin 102. Safety systems and electricity on highways in the city will be checked and improved. These are a few projects under the new budget of twomillion Baht.
Nakhon Pathom-Cha-Am Motorway
Mr. Surachai Srilenawat, the Director of the Bureau of Planning, the Department of Highways, said that the 250 kilometre road from Bangkok to Hua Hin will be known as the Phra Ram II and Phetchakasem Routes. Both of them have a capacity of up to 140,000 cars daily. As a result, traffic congestion in Hua Hin is inevitable.
The Department of Highways, realising how serious the problem is, will launch a project to renovate both the Phra Ram II and Phetchakasem routes with a budget of over 6 billion Baht. Over a billion Baht will be used for the 75 kilometre road from Bangkok to Samut Songkhram and another 5 billion Baht for the Phetchakasem Road, 290 kilometers from Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin.
The Department of Highways has already considered an extra highway to facilitate more traffic on Phetchakasem Road to the south of Thailand. This covers a 35 kilometre distance between the connecting road at the Wang Manao junction and highway No. 3510 (Nong Ya Plong). The project is now being considered and, if approved, it will be completed next year.
The Department of Highways has also received a 50 million Baht budget to study and design a project to construct a 120 kilometwe motorway from Nakhon Pathom to Cha-Am, and another 105 million Baht to study a 50 kilometre elevated road on Phra Ram II Road. All the projects will facilitate more convenient travel to Hua Hin and the south of Thailand.