PHUKET: A team from the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) raided a hotel located on the Bypass Road this morning after locals complained that the establishment was encroaching on forest land.
“We got a complaint in March that the Hilltop Hotel and Residence, located behind the Wang Mai wooden shop, was encroaching on forest land,” said RFD Deputy Director General Somchai Masathian.
“After investigating, we found that the hotel is built on about 4 rai of land, for which the owner has a valid chanote. However, additional construction, including staircases, walkways, restrooms, sheds and so on, extend 3 rai beyond the area covered by the chanote,” he added.
Mr Somchai said that the additional 3 rai of construction beyond the wall of the residential premises was built on preserved forest land as well as land under the protection of Forest Act BE 2484.
“We have filed a complaint of forest encroachment against the hotel owner, Panarat Prangchaiwet, at Phuket City Police station,” he added.
Mr Somchai said that the value to the government of this lost piece of land is more than 250,000 baht.
The RFD team also checked other plots of land on the way to the Big Buddha, where locals had filed similar complaints.
— Kongleaphy Keam
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