Thamanat Prompow orders demolition of illicit resorts on Khao Yai farmlandLegacy

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Thamanat Prompow, has mandated the demolition of hotels and resorts erected on Sor Por Kor land around Khao Yai National Park, designated for agricultural use and granted to landless farmers. The Minister’s mandate came as he made a pledge to rid the land of any illicit occupations.

Thamanat Prompow announced yesterday that he has commissioned a fresh inspection of the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) land surrounding the national park. This Khao Yai examination will be the precursor to a countrywide inspection of all additional Alro land sites, reported Bangkok Post.

Minister Prompow issued a warning to those knowingly breaching the rules of land occupation. He advised them to voluntarily surrender the occupied plots to the Alro and spare themselves a visit from the authorities. He stated, “Don’t wait until the authorities come to you. Every single plot of such illegally occupied land will be seized and their Sor Por Kor documents revoked.”

This initiative follows a recent accord struck between the Alro and the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to resolve their disagreement over the ownership of land parcels near Khao Yai. The two entities have committed to the establishment of buffer zones between forest reserves and agriculturally designated land.

The land conflict was triggered by allegations that many individuals holding Sor Por Kor land occupation documents had infringed on the national park’s land. The government’s policy to upgrade the Sor Por Kor land has led to the issuance of a new kind of land title deed for the claimed plots.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed confidence that the land dispute would be resolved shortly once a new unified land map, currently in progress by the Alro, DNP, and the Royal Thai Survey Department (RTSD), is finalised. The RTSD has already completed the land survey, a necessary step prior to creating the new map for the contentious areas.

The prime minister acknowledged the team’s diligent efforts, which have led to them being two weeks ahead of schedule. Once the map is ready, the Alro and DNP will ink a formal memorandum of understanding to collaborate in surveying the disputed land plots around Khao Yai once more, he added.

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Author: Mitch Connor