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Officials move against land grabs in northern Phuket

PHUKET: After receiving repeated complaints of people encroaching on a public waterway and a mangrove forest in Thalang, Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkhaosutthirak travelled to the north of the island yesterday (June 23) to let residents know that their complaints have been heard.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 24 June 2015, 06:33PM

V/Gov Somkiet led a team of officials to Suwan Pa Bang Khanun in Thalang to meet with local residents and discuss encroachment problems.

The party of officials were greeted by villagers led by Baan Muang Mai village headman Thara Klierpanit and and Baan Tha Maphrao village headman Wichai Kraithep.

The residents complained that they were fed up with trespassers and the lack of progress by officials in resolving the issue.

“The area is still being encroached on and illegal structures are being built continuously,” one villager said.

V/G Somkiet assured them that their complaints had inspired action.

“After receiving the complaints, Phuket Governor Nisit ordered the Damrongtham Centre (provincial ombudsman’s office) to set up a committee to investigate the matter and solve the problems,” V/Gov Somkiet said.

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Regarding encroachment on the mangrove forest, V/Gov Somkiet said, “The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thalang District Office, officers from the Royal Thai Navy and the village headmen in the area will help each other to clearly mark the boundaries of the 39-rai mangrove forest within 15 days.”

Signs will be posted to clearly mark the boundaries of the mangrove forest, he added.

“Anyone found encroaching on the mangroves, will be subject to the law. People can file a police complaint against any structures built in the area and request Thepkrasattri Municipality to investigate whether the buildings have been issued a building permit,” he said.

The Damrongtham Centre will hand out related documents to all relevant government departments so they have clear guide when issuing permits in the future, V/Gov Somkiet added.

Regarding encroachment on the public waterway klong Tha Maphrao, V.Gov Somkiet explained, “Thalang District Office, Thepkrasattri Municipality and the Marine Office will work together with the Land Department office in Thalang to help survey and clearly mark out the public land areas along the waterway.

“If anyone who develops land along the waterway, or encroaches onto the waterway itself, the department responsible for that land will have to report the activity to police within 30 days of noticing or receiving a complaint about the activity,” he said.



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