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1-week demolition deadline for illegal Samet resorts

Owners of illegally built resorts on the tourist island of Samet in Rayong province have to dismantle their installations within this week or forest rangers will have to step in, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation announced yesterday.

The owner of three of the resorts had promised to tear them all down by the end of last month, DNP director-general Damrong Phidej said. However, he added, there were no signs of demolition so far.

"I will wait until the end of the week, and will inspect the sites on September 8, and order them to be torn down if they are not all gone," he said.

A team of forest rangers surveying the resorts by boat faced problems reaching the shore due to the many buoys obstructing them and the lack of piers.

Among the many resorts, three face immediate demolition, namely Ploy Samet, Unseen Samet and Muk Samet, all of which encroach into the sea. Rangers trying to check on them were prevented from entering Ploy Samet.

In another crackdown on illegal buildings in Thab Lan National Park in Prachin Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima, 22 will be subject to demolition under court orders, he said.

Responding to an order to transfer Charoen Jaichon as chief of Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi, Damrong said he originally intended to appoint him chief of Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park in Chanthaburi. An internal investigation into allegations that Charoen had demanded Bt200,000 in bribe found him not guilty.

Damrong said the probe was completed on August 24, but he had not officially endorsed it because he was overseas at the time. He said Charoen had complained about him not signing the probe result and lodged a petition with outside agencies and a House committee on natural resources and environment.

"I will meet the House panel today to discuss the issue," Damrong added.


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