The Expressway Authority of Thailand yesterday dismissed a social media rumour about Sra Pathum Palace land being expropriated for an expressway extension.
EXAT deputy governor Lertsak Chingharanon said the Bang Khlo Collector/Distributor Road project was suspended due to heavy protests by affected residents and if the construction were to proceed it would not affect the palace.
EXAT governor Aiyanat Thin-apai also said there was no need to expropriate palace land for the project, which is part of the Bang Khlo-Chaeng Watthana expressway extension.
The agency maintained a principle of avoiding impacting on important venues such as palaces, temples, schools, hospitals and ancient sites when expropriating land for projects, he added.
The Bang Khlo-Chaeng Watthana expressway extension was conceived in 1987 when a Royal Decree for land expropriation was issued but EXAT could not complete it during the decree’s timeframe due to heavy protests from affected residents.
As a result, it extended the decree every four years six times before it became the Royal Decree for land expropriation 2011 – the seventh renewal.
All seven decrees maintained the same project and the Sra Pathum Palace was always excluded, Aiyanat said.
He said the Royal Decree was implemented to allow officials to survey and gather information about the properties to be expropriated.
EXAT checked the project area according to the 2011 decree, which designated areas in Ratchathewi and Pathumwan to be expropriated.
He said they discovered the palace was located within the decree-designated area but would not be affected as the project would be located on Saen Saeb Canal, across from the palace.
The agency was also reviewing the project, he said.