Prawit, 7 others hit with lawsuits

Prawit, 7 others hit with lawsuits

Ban Mankong housing project. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Ban Mankong housing project. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Activist Srisuwan Janya has filed lawsuits against eight public officials over their roles in the recently completed Ban Mankong housing project after it was found to have encroached onto a public canal.

The eight named officers are Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the director-general of the Treasury Department, the army chief, the director-general of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, the provincial governor of Pathum Thani, the chief of Muang district, the director of Regional Irrigation Office 11 and the director of the Community Organizations Development Institute.

They have been accused by Mr Srisuwan and residents of Rangsit and Lak Hok communities of abuse of power and negligence for allowing the Ban Mankong Housing Cooperative to build structures encroaching into the Prem Prachakorn canal and obstructing the flow of water, he said.

According to Mr Srisuwan, the construction halved the 50-metre width of the canal, affecting the drainage and increasing the risk of flooding during the rainy season.

The group of locals are pleading with the court to order the removal of the housing project from the canal.

The Treasury Department has leased the canal-side land, where the residents used to live, to the cooperatives for 30 years for the housing project.

Authorities earlier ruled that the group had been encroaching on the land and ordered them to relocate.

Mr Srisuwan alleged there were ulterior motives behind the decisions.

Any actions causing damage to public property is subject to imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht.

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