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Resort officials and park rangers discuss the missing scrub yesterday

Phuket Parkland: 100 Rai To Be Returned

Thursday, January 16, 2014
PHUKET: About 100 rai of misappropriated Phuket parkland will be returned to the public at the end of the month, the Director of Sirinath National Park, Cheewapad Cheewatam, said yesterday.

He added that he and Damrong ''The Demolisher'' Pidech, the former Director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, were being sued for 45 million baht in the dispute over park borderlands.

''I am not able to say more about the 100 rai until the end of the month but it's good news for Phuket,'' Khun Cheewapad said. He also did not go into details on who was suing he and Khun Damrong.

Khun Damrong, his former national boss,retired in a blaze of publicity after making accusations that a number of valuable properties on Phuket had been carved from public parkland.

The critical issue of protecting parkland resurfaced yesterday in unusual circumstances at the opening of the Anantara Phuket-Layan Resort and Spa.

The new resort is emerging as construction continues on the site of the Bundarika Resort at Layan, where one of Phuket's most beautiful remote beaches is now being fully developed.

Khun Cheewapad and a group of rangers were called out by local residents who noticed that a grove of scrubby native trees had disappeared from parkland adjoining the Anantara.

''There is no dispute about the resort's land title,'' Khun Cheewapad said. ''But it is also very clear that the trees were in national parkland.''

Although spokespeople for the resort said that the trees had not been destroyed but removed for replanting elsewhere, Khun Cheewapad said that interference with the national parkland would bring a summons to the local police station.

The resort's management were not keen to go on the record but it appeared as though some more conventional landscaping, including trees and rocks, was being planned for the area where the park trees had been culled.

Expect the relocated park trees to be returned and replanted to mitigate problems with police.

Khun Cheewapad said local residents formed the first line of defence in protecting the local environment and they realised, like the rangers, that compromises were not good for national parks.

''A couple of years ago, a local man set up a small shack in the scrub here,'' Khun Cheewapad said. ''He was eventually sentenced to two years in jail, and the sentence was suspended on condition he be of good behavior.''

Anantara is not the first resort on Phuket where management has sought to impose a different aesthetic outlook on the surrounding landscape. The views out over a small adjoining public beach and iconic Ta island remain glorious.

Some of the most celebrated Phuket resort names remain linked in the Sirinath parklands dispute. Investigators have pointed out that some properties have changed hands several times and the key is to establish precisely who has been involved in a possible fraud and at what point in the land titles' history.

Meanwhile, the road north from Layan beach is lined with green sheeting, masking in some cases the areas in dispute. Resorts are now open and thriving on other plots being investigated.

The Anantara's legitimacy is not in question. A formal opening for the resort is likely in March. Further south along the sand at Layan, The Nikki Beach Club appears ready to open next month.

The value of Phuket's beachfront land - once the least wanted by local families - continues to grow. The three rai for the beach club was purchased for a very cool 200 million baht, according to locals.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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A lot of volunteers would be happy to pull down all illegal structures on Phuket public beaches and lands....just ask for it...
Cleanups at Mai Khao, Nai Yang, Naithon, Bang Tao, Surin, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Kata Noi, Rawai, Naiharn, Panwa, Chalong and Koh Siray will include the dismantling of all illegal buildings and businesses?
In that case a lot of Phuketians and expats will help to save Phuket from destruction by greedy predators....

Phuketians would see the same arrests for powerful land-grabbers in Phuket... WE HOPE ONE DAY THOSE LAW-ENFORCERS WILL HAVE NO CHOICE ... BUT TO PERFORM DUTIES PROPERLY...

According to DSI mapping (Department of Special Investigation), this area is protected as National forest and is not available to any construction or land ownership..
http://www.dsi-map.go.th/

Posted by Whistle-Blower on January 16, 2014 12:37

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Expect the relocated park trees to be returned and replanted to mitigate problems with police. AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

Posted by dave on January 16, 2014 13:16

Editor Comment:

Something caught in your throat, Dave?

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Glad the national park is "busting" hotels doing beach beautification! Good grief...!
What about the millions of pieces of trash littered throughout Layan beach - not to mention the YouTube video showing a garbage dump on the beach in broad daylight...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6G_AFVZsEw

Posted by Anonymous on January 16, 2014 14:41


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