Doi Suthep judicial housing construction halted

Doi Suthep judicial housing construction halted

Could become a holiday spot instead

A photo captured from Google Maps shows the housing site for the Appeal Court in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai.
A photo captured from Google Maps shows the housing site for the Appeal Court in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai.

New judicial housing being built for the Region 5 office of the Appeal Court at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain in Chiang Mai province will be taken over for public use, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Thursday.

Building work had been suspended and the parties involved would discuss the matter next Monday.

The houses would not be demolished. They would be used in the public interest, possibly as a vacation spot, and not for judicial officials, said Gen Prawit, who is also defence minister.

He did not think the judicial office would sue the civil sector if its housing project was scrapped.

Gen Prawit confirmed, however, that the housing did not encroach on the forest reserve. It was on state land supervised by the Treasury Department.

The announcement comes after three activists began a walkathon from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on Wednesday to file a protest against the housing project with the prime minister.

Gen Prawit said they should now end their planned to walk to Government House. According to media reports, the activists agreed.

The largely completed housing project is on 147 rai  in Mae Rim district and includes new judicial offices.

It drew fierce criticism from local people and conservation-minded people nationwide of its environmental impact. About 1 billion baht has been spent on the project, and the housing is nearly completed.

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