Resort owner vows legal action over demolition

national February 21, 2014 00:00

By Sittichai Sikawat
The Nation,

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Ministry says its move is guided by court orders

The owner of Poda Island Resort is threatening to sue an authority for dismantling his facilities, even though courts have found the structures encroaching on a national park. 
Chuan Pukaoluan, who has operated the resort for about 20 years, has the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) in his sights. He claimed he had bought these plots legitimately.
Chuan is the former mayor of Muang Krabi Municipality, a post he held for several terms, and his younger brother is the current mayor. 
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Chote Trachu yesterday oversaw the demolitions – with about 500 officials, volunteers and border patrol police on hand. 
“This case has dragged on since 1985,” Chote said. 
On December 30, 2011, Chote said the Supreme Court had ordered Chuan to vacate four land plots on the island. 
“Those land plots belong to the DNP,” he said.
Chote said that last year the Krabi Provincial Court had also ordered Chuan to demolish the buildings and other structures on those plots but Chuan had refused to do so. 
“He has tried to produce his land-right documents but the Krabi Provincial Court has stood by its decision that is based on the final court ruling,” Chote said.
Chuan insisted that he had bought the land plots legitimately from Marobe Chamnina in 1985 and had the land-right documents to prove it. 
“But then the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park has claimed that the land-right documents were illegitimately issued,” he said. He said the documents had been officially approved.
“So, this is very unfair to me,” he said. 

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