11 July 2024

The district chief officer of Phu Kradueng district, in Thailand’s north-eastern province of Loei, has claimed that almost all the people there are in favour of the proposed cable car, to promote tourism in the province with an expectation that the project will generate up to 70 billion baht in annual revenue.

Phurivat Chotenopparat said that 99% of the people in Phu Kradueng district, from shop owners and hotel owners to porters, agree with the project, to which they have been looking forward for a long time.

He said that fewer people are visiting the elevated national park each year because many elderly people are unable to walk uphill to the peak of the mountain, which is the highlight for visitors. They have to use porters to carry them up, adding that there is also a shortage of porters, as many have retired.

He also said that, in case the visitors are in need of immediate medical care, it is very difficult to bring them down quickly.

Regarding potential environmental impacts from the project, Phurivat maintains that the local people are aware of the problems and are as environmentally conscious as the environmentalists who have reservations about it.

He asked the public organisation which revived the cable project, the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), to also consider the architectural design and work on the ground area of the national park, in addition to the feasibility study and design of the cable car project.

Meanwhile, Ornyupa Sangkamarn, secretary-general of the Seub Nakasathien Foundation, said that the environmental foundation is not worried about the engineering aspect of the project, which may have impacts on the environment of the park, but is more concerned about the construction, which may impact both wildlife and the environment.

On Monday, PM Office Minister Puangpetch Chunla-iad said she would seek cabinet approval for a 28 million baht fund for the feasibility study and design of the cable car project for Phu Kradueng National Park.