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Kalasin resident in limbo after protected tree falls on her house

Jun 25. 2017
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By Chompit Pinmuang
The Nation

A woman whose house in Kalasin’s Yang Talad district was damaged by a Siamese rosewood tree has complained that she has had to stay with her children because her home could not be repaired because she was afraid of being punished if she cut the tree down.

Tambon Hua Ngua resident Neungreuthai Sarapakdee, 51, said her complaints to state agencies had seemed to fall on deaf ears as no one had provided assistance. 

She said an April 29 rainstorm caused the tree to fall on her house, damaging electricity wires and causing a blackout as she, her husband and six-year-old grandson were inside. 

After agencies’ inspected her house, she was told not to damage the fallen tree because it was a protected species and to notify the village headman. 

After she contacted the headman and the Government Housing Bank, which held the mortgage for her property, she was told that a report to the Dhamrongtham complaints centre and the provincial forestry office had not received a reply. Bank staff told her they could not issue documents to help her because the bank only had rights to the land. 

“So I have been waiting for reply ever since. With the tree still stuck there, even though Tambon Hua Ngua has already given me wood and tin for repairs, I cannot do anything as I still have to wait for a reply. 

“If I cut down the tree, I might break the law so I moved to stay with my kid temporarily. I’m afraid the house’s beam will give out under the tree’s weight soon and the house will collapse. 

“I want related agencies to help me so I can fix it and move back to my home,” she said.

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