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Barami 8 squatters spared – for now

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Barami 8 squatters spared – for now | Thaiger

KALIM: Fearful of inciting a riot, municipal officials yesterday decided not to remove three squatters homes along Soi Phra Barami 8.

The three homes, the first of 61 to be removed to make way for a government road-widening project, was ordered on Monday by Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat at a meeting at Kathu District office.

Owners of the three homes have defied a court eviction notice issued in May and each now face more than 140,000 baht in fines, assessed at 1,000 baht a day. If they are unable to pay, they face being jailed.

Patong Mayor Pian Keesin on Monday reluctantly agreed to the removal of the three homes. However, the muddy, unpaved track was quiet yesterday as officials feared a riot would ensue if they went through with the plan.

Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat told the Gazette that the province still intends to remove the homes, with the help of local government bodies.

He declined to give a demolition date, however. Doing so would increase the likelihood of mob action, he said.

“They have received the order from Phuket Provincial Court. They have acknowledged it and must comply. They cannot refuse,” said Palad Nivit, who views the stand-off as a test case for all squatters in the area.

The squatters earlier rejected an offer to be relocated to small, rented plots on the grounds of Wat Kathu. They said such a move would ruin their livelihoods and force their children to attend new schools.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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