Thai navy warns of demolishing illegal structures near Phuket Airport

Picture courtesy of Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command

The Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, Vice Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew, has given a stern warning to individuals occupying land illegally in the Bang Khanun Forest near Phuket International Airport, stating that their structures will be demolished.

The Royal Thai Navy intends to develop facilities in the protected area, including the 22nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion, the 2nd Anti-Aircraft Regiment, the Anti-Aircraft Command Unit, an Air Defense and Coastal Defense Center, and the 4th Naval Police Battalion of the Naval Police Department. Occupying 3,763 rai of land in the forest, the proposed plan has spurred discontent among local families who claim they have been living and farming in the area for generations.

During an inspection of the forest last week, Vice Admiral Arpakorn, accompanied by various officials and representatives from Monsoon Garbage Thailand, discovered an illegal structure on the land. The owner was granted 15 days to dismantle the building or face the Navy’s intervention, reported The Phuket News.

It is our intention to know the facts and then find suitable solutions to the problems. We will organise joint forest conservation activities involving the local community in the future,” said Vice Admiral Arpakorn.

He added that those who are legally permitted to grow crops within the Bang Khanun Forest will be allowed to continue their activities temporarily. However, he cautioned that they would ultimately have to move out of the area.

Among the concerns explored during the inspection was the use of harmful pesticides by farmers cultivating crops in the forest. These chemicals have been washed downhill by heavy rainfall and have contaminated local waterways and watershed areas, leading to considerable complications.

Last year, police removed illegal food and drink venues from a beach in Phuket‘s Thalang district. The police found three venues on Layan Beach that were providing food and drinks, as well as beach chairs, sunbeds, and umbrellas. To read more click HERE.

Phuket NewsThailand News

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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