Connect with us

Phuket

Seized land earmarked for botanical gardens

Published

 on 

Seized land earmarked for botanical gardens | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Provincial Land Reform Office plans to establish botanical gardens on plots of agricultural reform (SorPorKor) land previously held by three Phuket tycoons.

The land was returned to the state last year in three separate Supreme Court rulings that found the tycoons did not qualify to occupy the land because they were not poor farmers.

Land Reform Office Chief Teerawut Tawornpatanavong told the Gazette that his office had issued SorPorKor titles to 546 people since August, 1993, when the SorPorKor 4-01K program was established by the Democrat government in power at that time.

The program aimed to allow landless farmers to use degraded Royal Forest Department land for farming, but a scandal erupted when it was later found that 11 wealthy Phuket residents were among the recipients, including current Phuket MP Tossaporn Thepabutr.

The scandal is considered key to the downfall of the Democrat-led government that was dissolved in 1995.

Of the 33,395 rai earmarked for the project in Phuket, SorPorKor rights were granted on 10,769 rai before the program was suspended here, K. Teerawut told the Gazette.

Thus far, the office has revoked rights to 2,676 rai of SorPorKor land from 133 people. Many of the revocations followed surveys in 2003 that revealed the land was not being farmed. In many cases, the holders had occupied land beyond the plot boundaries, K. Teerawut said.

In cases such as that of K. Tossaporn, the plaintiffs were able to present documents such as tax payment certificates to show that they or their forbears had occupied the land for some time. However, the documents presented were not full title deeds (Chanote) and the “owners” needed court approval to continue occupying the land, he explained.

The boom in the tourism industry and rising land prices have made agriculture less viable in Phuket. Therefore, the Land Reform Office plans to create botanical gardens on SorPorKor land reclaimed from K. Tossaporn (98 rai in Karon), Banlue Tantiwit (69 rai in Patong), and Charearn Thavornwongwongse (15 rai in Kamala).

Botanical gardens would help both environmental restoration and tourism promotion, he said. “The land formerly held by K. Banlue is well suited for tourism as it is along Tri Trang Beach in Patong, but K. Tossoporn’s [former] land is too distant from the road for this,” K. Teerawut said.

The Land Reform Office will prepare a budget request and ask for seedlings and other resources needed for the project from the Phuket Provincial Agriculture Office, he added.

In total, there have been 42 legal cases regarding SorPorKor land in Phuket. Thirty cases were lodged with the Administrative Court by people trying to reclaim SorPorKor rights that have been revoked. One case has already been ruled on and another withdrawn, leaving 28 cases, K. Teerawut said.

There are also 12 civil court cases pending, including several claims of illegal excavation, two claims of deforestation near the Kathu Waterfall, and four claims of encroachment near Wat Luangphu Supha in Chalong. In all four of these cases, the encroachers have been found guilty and are awaiting sentencing, K. Teerawut said.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel8 hours ago

Where to find underrated international cuisines in Bangkok

Bangkok9 hours ago

Chinatown manhole covers to use art, tech to become cultural map

Transport10 hours ago

Man fights Indian Railways for 22 years for justice (and 9 baht)

Events12 hours ago

Tourism Minister visits Full Moon Party, supports later curfew

Crime12 hours ago

Thais cautioned against fake government websites

Thailand13 hours ago

Another Thai boxer dies from brain injury after fight in Malaysia

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand14 hours ago

Expats in Thailand, Cartoon characters & Letting Loose | Thaiger Bites

Pattaya14 hours ago

VIDEO: Young Thais have a blast at Pattaya Music Festival weekend 2

Pollution15 hours ago

Anti-Corruption Network complains of smelly wastewater in coastal Thai province

Weather15 hours ago

Flooding from overflowing rivers soaks Chiang Rai and the border

Phuket16 hours ago

Phuket police nab 3,373 meth pills from 5 suspects

Pattaya18 hours ago

Pattaya night club owner gives free meals on Thai Mother’s Day

Thailand19 hours ago

Current Thailand Visa Options for Digital Nomads

Central Thailand19 hours ago

Police find fake Covid-19 tests worth millions in central Thailand

World20 hours ago

UPDATE: Rushdie is talking again, attacker pleads not guilty

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending