PM okays B17.5m for housing project

PM okays B17.5m for housing project

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has approved a 17.5-million-baht rehabilitation plan for a controversial housing project for staff of the Administrative Office of Appeal Region 5 in Chiang Mai.

Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said the budget, already held by Chiang Mai, would be spent mainly on repopulating forested areas that were cut down during the construction of the housing project.

The rehabilitation plan won approval from Gen Prayut last month, he said.

Gen Prayut is believed to have told the Chiang Mai governor that the rehabilitation of the housing project's old location, at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain in Chiang Mai, would begin immediately. He assigned the governor to coordinate the work to ensure full cooperation from all sides concerned, Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, the PM's Office minister, quoted his boss as saying.

Mr Suwaphan was previously assigned by Gen Prayut to lead efforts to resolve conflicts surrounding the housing project, which drew protests that finally saw it relocated to a new spot in Chiang Rai.

During the rehabilitation work, no new tenants are allowed to move into the 30-plus houses there, he said, adding that current residents will move out soon.

The government has not decided whether to demolish the entire complex, which features scores of houses and residential buildings spread over 147 rai based on a budget of more than 1 billion baht.

The cabinet has also approved a proposal to spend over 559 million baht funding three water-resources projects in Lampang, Lamphun and Chiang Mai, Thongplew Kongchan, director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, told the media on Tuesday.

This will help 1,168 families, Mr Thongplew said.

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