Shore thing: Coastal encroachment sparks wave of controversy in Chon Buri


Chon Buri’s local authorities lodged complaints yesterday against a resort proprietor and a village leader, accusing them of encroaching on a coastal region in the Sattahip district by constructing a ramp. The ramp was being erected behind a now-defunct resort in Tambon Samae San in Moo 1, an area under investigation following a complaint about suspected coastal encroachment.

Following the coastal encroachment complaint, provincial governor Thawatchai Srithong delegated Chusak Nantithanyathada, the acting district chief, to conduct an on-site inspection. The investigation, which took place on Monday, September 4, revealed that approximately seven rai of land had been encroached upon by the ramp, according to Mongkrot Aunruang, a high-ranking forestry official. The data was confirmed by a GPS map.

The discovered ramp, 1 metre wide and 79 metres long, was found to be linked to a concrete landing. Notably, the authorities found backhoes operating on the beach and trucks moving in and out of the ramp construction area. Consequently, the officials issued an immediate cease-and-desist order on the work while inspections proceeded.

Evidence of dredging activities and mounds of sand and rocks were found in the area. Subsequent checks established the region as part of a forest, an area prohibited to the public. The local authorities had not received any request for permission to build the ramp, reported Bangkok Post.

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Upon completion of the district chief’s tour of the coastal encroachment area, a local leader filed a police complaint. The accused are Naruedon Pisittakasem, the proprietor of the now-shut resort, and Apichart Aramrat, a village leader in Tambon Samae San in Moo 3. Apichart is alleged to have overseen the construction.

The charges levelled against the two men include conspiring to carry out construction that damages the forest without permission, a violation under Section 54 of the Forest Act.

Further charges include destruction of forest and state land, and engagement in illegal activities that harm natural resources, a breach of the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act.

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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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