ALRO refutes claims of issuing illicit land titles

Photo courtesy of Prasit Tangprasert

The Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) of Nakhon Ratchasima refuted claims of issuing Sor Por Kor land titles within the boundaries of Khao Yai National Park. The office is investigating allegations of its officials’ involvement in the illicit act.

In the recent past, about 2,933 rai of land positioned in tambon Moosi of Pak Chong district, within the perimeters of the UNESCO World Heritage site, was discovered to have been wrongly marked as farming land. As a result, Sor Por Kor 4-01 certificates for 42 plots have already been allocated, reported Bangkok Post.

Akkradech Rianghin, ALRO’s director-general in the province, emphasised that the office is in the process of investigating the potential involvement of its staff members. He assured that any titles found to have been issued erroneously would be immediately nullified.

He further mentioned that the Royal Thai Survey Department had surveyed the area using satellite imagery. ALRO would use this data to assist in their investigation.

Athapol Charoenshunsa, the director-general of the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), expressed his support for the investigation into the encroachment. He asserted that the responsibility of further inquiry lay with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Athapol was clear in stating that his department was not associated with the case. He highlighted that the incident emphasised the need for a comprehensive map showing land claims in the area, national park boundaries, and plots assigned for land reforms.

A community leader in Baan Hew Pla Kang, Kittisak Prompinij, and his son-in-law recalled that ALRO had made two announcements last year regarding the grant of Sor Por Kor rights to selected individuals for plots within the park. They claimed that the authorities did not specify the locations of the plots, only mentioning that they were situated in a fertile region inside the national park. They also stated that none of the locals were recipients of these plots.

Panchana Wattanasatian, who presides over the Khao Yai Tourism Club, urged the government particularly the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, to explain the situation and commence a comprehensive investigation.

“The controversy will have an impact on the park’s World Heritage status, as many environmental problems due to the construction of buildings and dams in the area have been reported.”

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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