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Dismantle entire Sukhumvit hotel?

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Common problem of encroachment on narrow sois (pedestrian death traps) may have landmark legal case to spark law enforcement. 

soi ruam rudee

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BMA under fire over illegal hotel

Owners may be ordered to demolish building
Supoj Wancharoen & Kanana Katharangsiporn
 
The Administrative Court has found a hotel building in Soi Ruam Rudi was built illegally and ordered Bangkok Metropolitan Administration authorities who allowed its construction to enforce compliance with the building control law.

On Sept 17, 2008, Grand Chamberlain Khwankeo Vajarodaya, Royal Household doctor Songkram Sapcharoen, and 24 residents of Soi Ruam Rudi on Phloenchit Road filed a complaint with the court against the Bangkok governor and the director of Pathumwan district office. Apirak Kosayodhin was Bangkok governor at the time.

The complainants accused Mr Apirak and the head of the district office at the time of issuing a certificate which the residents said exaggerated the width of the road in Soi Ruam Rudi and allowing Larp Prathan Co and Thabthimthorn Co, the operators of the Aetas Bangkok Hotel, to build a large building in violation of the law

The hotel has affected the environment of the community in Soi Ruam Rudi, caused traffic congestion which put the lives of residents at risk as well as exposing the community to greater risk of fires, the complainants claimed.

The court yesterday found that Soi Ruam Rudi, where the hotel building is located, is a public road.

The court cited data from a land survey from the Land Department which shows the road in the soi is less than 10 metres wide.

This means construction of the building was in breach of the 1979 Building Control Act, the court said.

The court ordered the Bangkok governor and the director of the Pathumwan district office to enforce compliance with the law within 60 days.

Chaloempong Klabdee, a lawyer representing the complainants, said the law prohibits construction of a large, tall building on a road measuring less than 10 metres wide.

The law aims to ensure public safety, public health, to prevent fire accidents, to preserve the environment, to maintain proper city planning and to ensure better traffic flow, Mr Chaloempong said.

He said the hotel building is now open and it is impossible to make any changes to the structure.

Mr Chaloempong said the BMA and the Pathumwan district office have to invoke Section 42 of the Building Control Act to order the owners of the hotel to dismantle the entire building.

If the owner of the building fails to act on the order, the district office can ask the court to arrest and detain those who fail to comply and the district office can proceed to dismantle the building itself or arrange for others to do so.

The building owner, designers and those involved in the construction of the building must pay the dismantling costs, Mr Chaloempong said.

However, Surachet Worawongwasu, an executive of Larp Prathan Co and a member of the hotel's management, said he disagreed with the court's ruling and would lodge an appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court.

Mr Surachet said the company had verified its compliance with the law before beginning construction.

Mr Surachet said the company wrote to the Pathumwan district office to inquire about the road's width and the office sent a written reply confirming the road was 10 metres wide.

The company submitted the evidence to the court, although the court gave weight to the actual physical environment in the soi which may be changing all the time, Mr Surachet said. Areas in the soi had been encroached upon, making it less than 10 metres wide.

He called on City Hall to take legal action against people who had encroached upon public land in the soi. 

Pawinee Amartthas, director of the Pathumwan district office, said the BMA's public works department was responsible for issuing the permit for the construction of the hotel building.

(Source: Bangkok Post, BMA under fire over illegal hotel, Owners may be ordered to demolish building, 10/02/2012, Supoj Wancharoen & Kanana Katharangsiporn, link)
 
Building Control Law Vocabulary

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) - the name of the Bangkok city government (See Wikipedia)
 

under fire - being criticized, in big trouble

illegal
- against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
illegal hotel

BMA under fire over illegal hotel

demolish - to completely destroy a building, especially in order to use the land for something else รื้อ (สิ่งก่อสร้าง), ทำลาย
demolish building

Owners may be ordered to demolish building

administrative court - a court specializing the exercise of public power and government administration and decisionmaking (See Wikipedia)
authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง

enforce
- to make sure laws are obeyed
compliance - following a rule or law
enforce compliance

The Administrative Court has found a hotel building in Soi Ruam Rudi was built illegally and ordered Bangkok Metropolitan Administration authorities who allowed its construction to enforce compliance with the building control law.

residents - people who live in a particular place or area ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ

filed - to take official action, e.g., to make a formal complaint ยื่นฟ้องร้อง
complaint - when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
filed a complaint with the court -

On Sept 17, 2008, Grand Chamberlain Khwankeo Vajarodaya, Royal Household doctor Songkram Sapcharoen, and 24 residents of Soi Ruam Rudi on Phloenchit Road filed a complaint with the court against the Bangkok governor and the director of Pathumwan district office.

complainants -

issuing - officially giving something to people ออกคำสั่ง
certificate - an official document or record stating that particular facts are true ประกาศนียบัตร เกียรติบัตร
issuing certificate -

exaggerated
- saying more than is actually true
width - the distance across something from one side to the other ความกว้าง
exaggerated width of road

operators
- a company running some kind of business
operators of the Aetas Bangkok Hotel

violation - an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc. การฝ่าฝืนกฎหมาย
in violation of the law
build a large building in violation of the law

The complainants accused Mr Apirak and the head of the district office at the time of issuing a certificate which the residents said exaggerated the width of the road in Soi Ruam Rudi and allowing Larp Prathan Co and Thabthimthorn Co, the operators of the Aetas Bangkok Hotel, to build a large building in violation of the law. 

environment - the natural world of land, sea, plants, and animals
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน

traffic
- the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
congestion - a situation in which a place is crowded with people or vehicles แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน
traffic congestion - when there are a lot of cars on the road, all moving very slowly

risk
- danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง
put lives at risk - people could get killed by fast cars on the narrow soi
put the lives of residents at risk

expose to risk -
put people in a dangerous situation where they might get hurt
exposing the community to greater risk of fires

The hotel has affected the environment of the community in Soi Ruam Rudi, caused traffic congestion which put the lives of residents at risk as well as exposing the community to greater risk of fires, the complainants claimed.

cited - mentioned (to support a point you are making or arguing) กล่าวถึง
data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
land survey - the process of making a map of a place, used to determine property boundaries (See Wikipedia)

The court cited data from a land survey from the Land Department which shows the road in the soi is less than 10 metres wide.

breach - a failure to follow a law or rule การละเมิดกฎหมาย

This means construction of the building was in breach of the 1979 Building Control Act, the court said. The court ordered the Bangkok governor and the director of the Pathumwan district office to enforce compliance with the law within 60 days. Chaloempong Klabdee, a lawyer representing the complainants, said the law prohibits construction of a large, tall building on a road measuring less than 10 metres wide.

ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
ensure public safety
ensure better traffic flow

preserve - to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน, อนุรักษ์
preserve the environment

city planning - the process of planning a city so that living in it is safe and convenient for people, also called "urban planning" (See Wikipedia)

maintain - to keep;  keep in good condition รักษา
proper - actual or real จริง (พระราชพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพจริง)
maintain proper city planning

The law aims to ensure public safety, public health, to prevent fire accidents, to preserve the environment, to maintain proper city planning and to ensure better traffic flow.

invoke - to use a rule or law as a reason or basis for doing something อ้าง (กฎหมาย)
invoke Section 42 of the Building Control Act

dismantle - to take something apart รื้อ ที่รื้อถอน
dismantle the entire building.
dismantling costs

Mr Chaloempong said the BMA and the Pathumwan district office have to invoke Section 42 of the Building Control Act to order the owners of the hotel to
dismantle
the entire building.

act - a law passed by a country's government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
detain - to keep someone in a police station or prison and not allow them to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
comply - to obey and follow a rule or law or do what someone asks you to do ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, etc.)
proceed - to continue as planned ดำเนินการ

If the owner of the building fails to act on the order, the district office can ask the court to arrest and detain those who fail to comply and the district office can proceed to dismantle the building itself or arrange for others to do so. The building owner, designers and those involved in the construction of the building must pay the dismantling costs.

executive - the highest level managers in a company
court ruling - a decision by a court of law คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด

lodge
- to formally make something such as a complaint or a claim ยื่นเอกสาร ยื่นคำร้อง ยื่นฟ้องต่อ
appeal - formally asking a higher court or authority to reverse a legal decision already made by a lower court อุทธรณ์ ขออุทธรณ์ ยื่นอุทธรณ์
lodge an appeal 

However, Surachet Worawongwasu, an executive of Larp Prathan Co and a member of the hotel's management, said he disagreed with the court's ruling and would lodge an appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court.

verified its compliance with the law

Mr Surachet said the company had verified its compliance with the law before beginning construction.

confirming - checking to make sure it really exists and is valid
the office sent a written reply confirming the road was 10 metres wide.

Mr Surachet said the company wrote to the Pathumwan district office to inquire about the road's width and the office sent a written reply confirming the road was 10 metres wide.

submitted - formally given to someone so that they can make a decision about it ยื่น  ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา
evidence - facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime; information that is used in court to try to prove something หลักฐาน หลักฐานประกอบการไต่สวนคดี หรือพิจารณาคดี  information that shows and proves something to be true
submitted evidence to the court

weight
- importance ความสำคัญ
gave weight to - gave importance to (in making a decision)

actual
- real; existing in fact จริง
physical - real things that can be touched and seen (not just an idea or legal right)
he actual physical environment of the soi which may be changing all the time

encroached
- to gradually cover more and more of an area of land บุกรุก, ล่วงล้ำ

The company submitted the evidence to the court, although the court gave weight to the actual physical environment in the soi which may be changing all the time, Mr Surachet said. Areas in the soi had been encroached upon, making it less than 10 metres wide.

He called on City Hall to take legal action against people who had encroached upon public land in the soi. 

Pawinee Amartthas, director of the Pathumwan district office, said the BMA's public works department was responsible for issuing the permit for the construction of the hotel building.

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