Gift from Thailand - Thai govt plans to build RM120m tunnel across Golok river in honour of Kelantan sultan and people
WAITING FOR APPROVAL: Thai govt plans to build RM120m tunnel across Golok river in honour of Kelantan sultan and people
Takbai District Officer Somsaat Sithi Warkian showing roughly where the proposed tunnel will be built by the Thai government connecting Takbai to Pengkalan Kubor in Tumpat. The project will be presented as a gift to Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V. Pic by Fathil Asri
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TAKBAI: THE Thai government is planning to build an underwater tunnel as a gift to Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V and the people in the state.
The tunnel would connect the border towns of Takbai, in the province of Narathiwat, and Pengkalan Kubor, in Tumpat.
Takbai district officer Somsat Sithi Warkian said the project, which was expected to cost about RM120 million, would be completely financed by the Thai government.
"It is a gift to Sultan Muhammad V and the people of Kelantan.
"We hope that the gift will make the Sultan Muhammad and the people happy," he said when met here recently.
People travelling between both border towns currently used boats and ferries, although there were plans to build a bridge across the Golok river.
"The proposal has been made to the higher authority in Bangkok and we are waiting for his approval," he said.
Somsat said according to the plan, the 400m tunnel would cut across the Golok river from Takbai to Pulau Tengkorak on the Malaysian side.
He said the construction would ease the problem of travelling between both border towns, especially for traders who have been using the boats and ferry to carry out their daily activities.
Apart from local users, he hoped that the tunnel, which would be the first in the region, would attract foreigners, including those from Singapore and Indonesia.
"We are confident that the tunnel will boost not only the tourism industry in Thailand but also Malaysia," he said.
He believed the tunnel would be safer and more environmentally friendly than having a bridge which both governments had planned to build across the river.
"If approved by the Thai government, the plan will be forwarded first to the Sultan of Kelantan," he said.