BMA to dismantle homes along Lat Phrao Canal
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is considering invoking an encroachment law, better known as <i>Por Wor</i> 44, to force the relocation of 470 families from Klong Lat Phrao, according to a senior city official.
Deputy city clerk Sompong Wiangkaew said City Hall will this month ask Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang to grant district officials authority to dismantle houses and structures on public land along the canal.
Under Por Wor 44, provincial governors are empowered to enforce the dismantling of structures that encroach on rivers or canals.
The BMA plans to build 24km of flood embankments along the canal, but it cannot proceed until all 3,752 families located in eight districts of Wang Thonglang, Huai Khwang, Lat Phrao, Chatuchak, Bang Khen, Laksi, Don Muang and Sai Mai are moved out.
Mr Sompong said a total of 3,282 families have agreed to relocate to clear the way for construction. So far, City Hall has dismantled 1,317 houses and structures.
He said the remaining 1,965 houses are pending relocation and there is a clear time frame for the BMA to proceed. However, those who are refusing to vacate may affect the project.
According to Mr Sompong, to force relocation under Por Wor 44, district office directors are required to survey structures that occupy the banks before requesting the Bangkok governor exercise the power.
Occupants have 15 days to move out after being notified and, if they refuse, the district must issue a second eviction order. If they ignore this final order, the district can move to dismantle the structures after informing the police of its intention.
It is reported that City Hall has arranged for the Community Organisations Development Institute to extend a loan of 200,000 to 300,000 baht to each of the affected residents so they can build new homes.
However, some residents are reluctant to relocate because they do not have secure employment and cannot afford to pay back the loans.