Demolition of B30m resort on national park land nearly complete

Demolition of B30m resort on national park land nearly complete

Site to become camping ground

An aerial view of Suanphittawan Resort on the edge of the reservoir of Srinakarin Dam in Kanchanaburi's Si Sawat district, found to be built illegally inside Srinakarin Dam National Park. Demolition of the resort, ordered by the courts, is about 90% complete. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
An aerial view of Suanphittawan Resort on the edge of the reservoir of Srinakarin Dam in Kanchanaburi's Si Sawat district, found to be built illegally inside Srinakarin Dam National Park. Demolition of the resort, ordered by the courts, is about 90% complete. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANABURI: Demolition of a 30-million-baht luxury resort that encroached on Srinakarin Dam National Park in Si Sawat district is almost complete, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation official reported on Monday.

The resort's demolition concludes a seven year legal battle. 

Nipon Chamnongsirisak, director of the Zone 3 Conservation Office, Yuthapong Damsrisuk, chief of the Srinakarin Dam National Park, and 15 other park officials went to Suanphittawan Resort on Monday morning to inspect progress in the illegal resort's removal. 

They found that the operator had completed about 90% of the work. 

The demolition dates back to Aug 25, 2014, when officials from the Srinakarin Dam National Park examined Suanphittawan Resort, which comprised 17 buildings on about 20 rai on the shore of the dam reservoir in tambon Dan Mae Chalaeb of Si Sawat district.

Using GPS, they confirmed the resort was inside the boundary of the national park.

They filed a complaint with Dan Mae Chalaeb police against Sompop Meechuves, the resort owner, charging him with encroachment.

However, the prosecution office of Kanchanaburi did not indict the suspect, citing a lack of intention.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation filed a civil case against Mr Sompop, demanding 954,307 baht in damages.

Mr Sompop died. The prosecutors filed a civil suit against Pissamai Meechuves, the executor of his will, demanding the damages.

During the court proceedings, Ms Pissamai reached a settlement with the department, agreeing to pay 600,000 baht damages in monthly instalments of 10,000 baht over five years.

The Srinakarin Dam National Park subsequently issued an order dated Oct 10, 2014 for the resort operator to demolish all structures and remove them from the land by Nov 17, 2014.

Ms Pissamai contested the order in the Central Administrative Court.

The court on Sept 23, 2021 again ordered the resort operator to demolish the buildings and remove them from the land. Ms Pissamai agreed to complete the demolition in 120 days, starting Nov 17, 2021.

National park officials checked on progress on Dec 13 and reported the work nearly completed.

Mr Yuthapong said the 20 rai would be developed as a camping ground where visitors could enjoy the natural beauty of the Srinakarin Dam reservoir.

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