Land expropriation for smart city in Chon Buri to start at year-end
The government will start expropriating land in a tambon in Chon Buri province late this year for the construction of a smart city and EEC business hub with a budget of 1.34 trillion baht, a senior official said.
Kanit Saengsuphan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO), said the office would start expropriating Sor Por Kor land in four villages of Tambon Huay Yai in in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district either late this year or early next year.
The Sor Por Kor is land allocated to landless farmers for farming. The land cannot be legally sold.
Kanit said the first phase of expropriation would cover plots in Ban Bueng (Moo 6), Ban Mab Phuk Thong (Moo 11), Ban Nok (Moo 12) and Ban Nong Phak Kood (Moo 13) villages in tambon Huay Yai.
Most of the plots are farm lands where villagers have planted rubber trees, palm trees, coconut trees and tapioca.
He said the office has dispatched teams to conduct public hearings and the plan had garnered support but also opposition.
An EECO source said the office was still in the process of negotiating land prices with farmers as many of them thought the offered prices were too low.
A source from Tambon Huay Yai said the first lot of expropriation would be done for 2,000 rai of land in Moo 13 village and the plot would be used for building the new EEC office. The source said public hearings with local people met with both agreement and disagreement as many local people saw the prices were too low.
Although the Sor Por Kor land cannot be legally sold and bought, the source from the tambon said many investors have already bought the right to hold the land from farmers in anticipation of getting benefits from the new city project.
The source said land price has shot up after it has become known now that the construction of the new EEC city would start in tambon Huay Yai along highway No 331 -- the Sattahib-Khon Chi Chan Road.
Tambon Huay Yai has been selected as the centre of the new city apparently because it is located at the spot with convenient transportation. It is located near a station of the high-speed railway that will link the Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports. The spot is also near the U-Tapao airport, Pattaya and not too far from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The EECO source said some 14,600 rai (2,336 hectares) in tambon Huay Yai would be gradually expropriated. So far, the government has allocated 1.5 billion baht for the expropriation, the source added.
The source said the project would later expand to cover some 70,000 rai of smart city covering two more tambon – Pong and Khao Mai Kaew.
The cost of the entire project was set at 1.3 trillion baht over 20 years of development, the source added.
The source said the smart city would have low-rise buildings comfortable to live in and work from. It would cater to foreigners who would come to work in the EEC during the next 20 years, the source added.