Majority wants death sentence for judges' housing at Doi Suthep: Poll

Majority wants death sentence for judges' housing at Doi Suthep: Poll

A huge majority of people regard the housing project for justice officials of the 5th Regional Appeals Court at the foot of Doi Suthep of Chiang Mai province as inappropriate, saying it is damaging to the forest and the general eco-system, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on April 21-23 on 1,250 people aged 18 and above of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

Asked whether the project is a good idea, a huge majority - 85.20% - said it is inappropriate because it damages forests, nature and the eco-system, adding it is a waste of money which could be used for projects to benefit local people. A minority - 14.56% - disagreed, saying the project has been legally approved and cannot be regarded as forest encroachment, while 0.24% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether they were aware that the project was legally approved, a majority - 81.12% - said "no"; 18.56% said "yes"; and 0.32% were uncertain or had no comment.

On a proposal that the houses being built under the project be demolished, 53.84% of the respondents agreed, saying this will allow the area to be reforested; 43.68% disagreed, saying that it would be a waste of the money already spent on construction; and 2.48% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked to recommend ways to address the problem, opinions varied widely.

  • 37.36% said construction should end, the houses under construction should be demolished and the area reforested
  • 25.92% said the construction should continue, but the site should be developed for public use
  • 22.96% suggested that the construction should end and some of the structures already erected but considered harmful to the environment should be demolished
  • 7.52% said the construction should continue until the project is completed
  • 2.80% said they want the construction to end and that a settlement should be reached to preempt parties concerned from demanding compensation
  • 1.20% said the construction should continue, but trees should be planted to transform the development into a resort run by a private entity
  • 2.24% were uncertain or had no comment

Related: Thousands demand demolition of housing in Chiang Mai

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