Land reclamation to begin in Korat on Friday

Land reclamation to begin in Korat on Friday

The Kanchanaburi Agricultural Land Reform Office opens a centre to accept complaints about illegal Sor Por Kor land occupation in June this year. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)
The Kanchanaburi Agricultural Land Reform Office opens a centre to accept complaints about illegal Sor Por Kor land occupation in June this year. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)

Authorities will on Friday kick off reclaiming farmland in the hands of landlords to be redistributed to needy farmers, starting with Nakhon Ratchasima.

The process -- outlined in the junta’s July 5 order -- involves designating the target land in each area, putting up public notice for it, giving people time to stake their claims and submit ownership evidence, having authorities verify the evidence, and reclaiming the illegally held land.   

Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Minister Chatchai Sarikulya will preside over the ceremony to reclaim the so-called Sor Por Kor land -- land with special titles intended for small farmers -- in the northeastern province.

At the ceremony, Gen Chatchai will put up a signboard to declare the target land for reclamation --initially some 600 rai in tambon Raroeng, Wang Nam Khieo district, in the case of Nakhon Ratchasima.

The land, which was originally intended for agriculture, had been bought and illegally occupied by landlords who refused to cooperate when asked to return it to the state.

Four signboards with the same notice will be put up: at the offices of the district, tambon chief, village chief and local administration.

The notice is for the occupiers to submit his or her land rights documents to concerned officials within 15 days.

On receiving the documents, the officials will be given 30 days to examine them. If the land is found to have been illegally occupied, it will be reclaimed for further distribution to landless farmers.

In 1993, the government decided to give deteriorated parts of reserved forests to farmers. But up until now, a large portion of that land has yet to be surveyed and issue titles for because it is occupied by some people who are not farmers.

Some of it ended up in the hands of landlords who bought it from farmers to create large plots for monoculture, which is harmful to the environment.

The junta's chief used his sweeping powers under Section 44 of the interim charter to designate the types of land to be reclaimed for farmers.

The target land is plots of 500 rai or more which have not been measured and given titles; plots of 100 rai or more of which land reform rights ended and are now occupied by others; and plots of 500 rai or more to be handed over to the Agricultural Land Reform Office by final court rulings.

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