Payouts for land 'too slow'
Residents of three provinces have petitioned the government to revoke their land appropriation contracts with the Highways Department, which has been accused of being too slow to compensate them for building the new Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi motorway.
Those losing their land along the planned 96-kilometre route are not satisfied with what they call chao cham yen cham behaviour on the part of some highway officials, referring to the leisurely pace the officials are taking regarding the distribution of compensation, while residents are badly in need of money to acquire new homes and continue their businesses.
Around 100 residents from Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi lodged their petition with the prime minister's office via its Damrongtham complaint centre.
"They want to terminate contracts on land," said social activist Srisuwan Janya, also secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution.
Mr Srisuwan, who took them to Government House on Friday, is advising the residents on the legal aspects of the case. Sections 336 and 387 of the Civil and Commercial Code allow them to terminate the contracts if a signatory fails to settle their debts within a certain period.
The residents did not say how long the department was overdue, but according to Mr Srisuwan, the officials allegedly "did not act to compensate" them. This left them in deep financial trouble, he said.
Some cannot invest in animal farms and fruit plantations because they already gave up rights to their land. Others put down deposits for new land only to see their money seized by landlords because they did not have money to pay for the rest.
The department earlier promised to pay them money for plots of land required for the construction of the motorway, known as M81.
The route is expected to start in Nonthaburi and end in Kanchanaburi.