Panel to probe destruction of 'heritage'

Panel to probe destruction of 'heritage'

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) have set up a committee to investigate the demolition of a 127-year-old building in the northern province of Phrae.

Somwang Ruangnivatsai, deputy director-general of the department, said yesterday the committee will be headed by Thannarin Na Nakorn, director of the department's Forest and Plant Conservation Research Office.

Mr Somwang said the panel was set up after the public had made allegations that the authorities had failed to preserve an integral part of the province's heritage.

He did not go into details about the working timeframe of the panel.

However, Mr Somwang said the department would use a budget of about 7-8 million baht to restore the building to its original state in cooperation with the Fine Arts Department and residents.

Worawat Auapinyakul, a former MP for Phrae, said various state agencies in the province should take responsibility for failing to preserve the old building, not just the DNP.

He said those involved in the demolition should face legal action.

The building once housed an office of the Bombay Burmah Trading Company, which was granted a logging concession in the western Yom River area in 1889. It was located in the Chetawan Arboretum in Muang district.

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