Court blocks 'unfair' BMA push to expropriate land

Court blocks 'unfair' BMA push to expropriate land

The Administrative Court has issued an injunction effectively suspending City Hall's attempts to expropriate land for a road project in the north of Bangkok.

The project calls for a canal-side road to be built linking Chaeng Watthana and Song Prapha roads, along the eastern side of Klong Prapha.

The project requires land along the proposed road to be expropriated. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is basing its expropriation criteria on a cabinet resolution dated Oct 9, 1957.

The BMA has contended it will buy land from owners through a purchase deal stipulated in the resolution, which some land owners believe is unfair.

Saknarong Thayaset and six others people facing the expropriation of their land filed for the injunction with the Administrative Court, which granted their request on Wednesday.

Mr Saknarong said the BMA should have adopted the expropriation criteria set out in the Expropriation and Assets Acquisition Act which came into force last year instead of using an old cabinet resolution.

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang failed to ask the cabinet to issue a royal decree which would have authorised officials to survey the land and proceed with expropriation through the proper method, he said.

The 1957 resolution sets out only a rough guideline on the state purchase of private land. The BMA's adoption of the resolution, therefore, raises technical and legal questions.

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