Ministry to demolish resort
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will demolish the famous Ban Pa Ngam resort located inside Thap Lan National Park in Prachin Buri province once it settles the details on how to proceed, minister Dapong Ratanasuwan says.
Gen Dapong said the Supreme Court had given the final verdict in June that the resort owner was guilty of encroaching on park land.
Officials have been working on the demolition details so they will not face legal repercussions from the resort owner after enforcing the court's ruling, he said.
"If regulations allow us to demolish illegal properties in the national park, we will immediately do it. But we will not rush to do so without clear guidelines," he said.
He commended forest officials for their courage in enforcing the law without fearing pressure from any influential figures.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation previously said it would demolish buildings at the resort in August but has yet to take any action.
Department chief Niphon Chotiban said his agency was inspecting the resort.
National park chief Thewin Meesap said he requested a budget of two million baht from the department to carry out the demolition.
However, the department rejected the request and demanded he clarify the 10 million baht spent on the reclamation operation launched two years ago when Damrong Pidech was the department chief.
There have been allegations the operation was too costly and produced few results because it demolished only parts of Talaymok Resort which had encroached on forest land.
Gen Dapong said he had suggested the department separate the budget request from the forest land reclamation operation. The department chief has full authority under the law to approve the budget.