Land acquisition funds approved for Chalong dam

CHALONG: Some 160 million baht for the final land acquisition for the Klong Krata reservoir project has been approved and landowners will receive compensation payments within two months.

News that the funding had been made available under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives was reported during a project update meeting chaired by Phuket Vice-Governor Smith Palawatwichai at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon.

Irrigation Department officer Tawin Jairak, who oversees land acquisition projects from the regional Irrigation headquarters in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, told the Gazette that the Phuket Irrigation Office recently received about 160 million baht to fund the final compensation phase.

Part of the funding will be used to compensate landowners with title deeds to their land, who will receive 100% of the government-assessed rate.

The remainder will be used to compensate people who have valid land usage claims – but not title deeds. These people will be compensated at 90% of the government-assessed rate, which is based primarily on the distance of land plots to the nearest main road, Soi Luang Pusapha.

The 960-million-baht Klong Krata project will create a 5.7-million-cubic-meter reservoir behind a dam 25 meters thick and 730m long.

Of the project budget, about 300 million baht has been earmarked for acquisition of about 430 rai along the base of the Nakkerd Hills.

Land owners and people with usage rights to the remaining plots have 60 days to appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives if they feel the compensation they are due to receive is inadequate, K. Tawin said.

Currently, 11 parties with deeds or usage rights to a total of 30 plots are still unsatisfied with the compensation being offered, he added.

The Klong Krata reservoir is slated to be the island’s third major water supply source, serving the southern end of the island.

Work on the 7.2-million-cubic-meter Bang Neaw Dum reservoir in Srisoonthorn, Thalang, to be the island’s second main water source, is now about 80% complete.

Wit Wongkamonchoon, who heads the Irrigation Department’s Surat Thani office, estimated that the dam will be completed and capable of retaining water in September 2008, at the earliest.

In October, he told the Gazette that the reservoir was 75% complete and scheduled to become operational by June 2008.

Phuket News

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