Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Takes Action
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered the demolition of three illegally built resorts on Phu Thap Boek, a popular hillside tourism destination in Phetchabun province. Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has tasked his adviser Yuthapol Angkinan, along with an environmental inspector and relevant agencies, to take swift action against the resorts.
The Issue: Blocked Views and Eyesores
These resorts, located near Pha Hua Sing (Lion Head Cliff) in tambon Ban Noen of Lom Kao district, were constructed without permits. They became the subject of tourists’ complaints for blocking the view and being an eyesore. Pha Hua Sing is part of Khao Kho National Park, a significant tourist attraction and vital environmental area.
Investigation and Violations
Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division’s Sub-division 4 collaborated with the forest special task force and administrative officials in Lom Kao district and Khao Kho National Park to inspect the three resorts. The investigation revealed that the construction sites are located in forested areas, which violates Section 4 of the Forest Act 1941 and Watershed Area 1A, a term used to designate a forest conservation zone. Officials confirmed that no construction permit could be allowed in this area. The area had also been previously encroached upon, with the intruders arrested.
Not within Agricultural Land Reform
Furthermore, the area is not within the destined zone for agricultural land reform, where construction work may be permitted. Section 54 of the Forest Act does not list the area as being within the land reform boundary or earmarked for public use by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS).
Demolition and Further Investigation
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will demolish the construction work at the three resorts. Phaya Sua and Phaya Prai forces have expanded their investigation to identify anyone tied to the illegal constructions.
Preventing Future Encroachments
The ministry will also issue guidelines so relevant departments can launch measures to prevent encroachment in the proximity of Pha Hua Sing, ensuring the preservation of the environment and the tourism experience for visitors.
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