Protest stepped up as Doi Suthep residents show no sign of moving
The Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network is to step up its protests over the contentious housing project built on the forested slopes of the sacred mountain.
Network coordinator Teerasak Rupsuwan on Monday said the group would stage a protest on Saturday and would also submit a petition to the Supreme Court president to help solve the dispute “before things get out of control and people lose faith in the institute”.
The group will gather at 1pm on Saturday near Appeals Court Region 5 to read a statement condemning those it says have failed to honour the agreement brokered on May 6 by the government to have 45 houses and nine flats returned to the Treasury Department.
Teerasak said he expected a larger crowd than that which attended a similar protest in April.
Two sub-committees tasked with surveying the site to see how it has been impacted by the construction work, would conclude their findings to submit to the government by July 6, he added.
The controversial project comprises the residential development of flats and houses, plus the Administrative Office building of Appeals Court Region 5.
According to the agreement, the land on which the residential dwellings sit, deemed to be forestland, will be handed back to the Treasury and eventually added to the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, while the court will retain the office building and four flats.
However 30 families have been moving into the “forestland” flats” since April and have stayed there even after the June 18 deadline, when the contractor was supposed to hand over the last phase of the project to the court and the process to return a portion of the buildings should have begun.
The construction, which is behind deadline, was still continuing and there had been no explanation whether they had extended the contract or not, said Teerasak.