Samet resorts to be dismantled
- Published: 15/11/2012 at 06:12 PM
- Online news:
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk confirmed Thursday authorities will demolish three illegal resorts on Koh Samet in Rayong province but will wait until the Legal Execution Department finishes putting up demolition notices at all of them.
A court has already issued a verdict that the three resorts -- Ploy Samet Resort, Mook Samet and Unseen Resort -- encroached on Khao Lam Ya and Moo Koh Samet National Park, Mr Preecha said.
However, the ministry will have to wait for the Legal Execution Department to erect demolition notices at Mok Samet and Unseen Resort on Saturday. It erected a notice at Ploy Samet Resort last Sunday.
Mr Preecha said that by law if the resorts operators fail to dismantle their installations within the deadlines stipulated by the Legal Execution Department, the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department will immediately move ahead with the eviction plan.
The owners of the three resorts had formally asked the department to extend the demolition deadline until Oct 31. They said they needed more time to remove their belongings from the resorts and find money to pay for the demolition work.
Damrong Pidech, the department's former director-general, had agreed to the request, but before he retired in September, he visited the three resorts and found they were actually empty and furniture had already been moved out.
Mr Damrong was hailed as a local hero who had the courage to stand up to the rich and powerful to protect the country's dwindling forests during his tenure as department chief after having worked in forest protection for 40 years.
On concerns that no one would take decisive action as Mr Damrong's demolition plan might be delayed because his position is currently vacant, Mr Preecha said deputy department chief Reungchai Prayoonvej would handle the job “just fine”.
Mr Preecha vowed to punish anyone found guilty of intruding on state forests and parks, no matter how powerful they are.
“We cannot linger on this for any length of time as we would then be seen as being lax in our duties. I will try to take time out to travel there and oversee the demolition myself,” the minister said.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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