Locals protest blockade of Laem Singh
PHUKET: About a hundred local residents and vendors from Kamala yesterday met with graft hunter Pol Col Dutsadee Arayawut, to appeal to him to investigate ownership of land abutting the popular Laem Singh Beach.
Friday 16 March 2012, 06:49PM
The locals said that someone was installing an 800-metre-long corrugated iron fence around the land, which would completely block access to both beachgoers and vendors.
Somnuk Korkaew, a representative of the local residents, who has been living near the beach for 30 years, said that blocking the entrance also blocks people’s income.
“This beach and surrounding areas have had no owner for 30 years. There are two entrances to go down from the main road to the beach. If they block the entrances, nobody can get down there.
“I have a small food stall near the beach and there are many local people who work there, including food stalls, masseurs and fishermen.
“When people cannot get down there, how can we work? And what will the tourists think?"
He pointed out that there are public drainage pipes near the two entrances, to drain water from mountains, “but when we saw the land deeds at the Phuket Land Office there was no mention of those pipes.
“So we want the PACC to check again if this indeed is correct or not,” said Mr Somnuk. “The owner should remove the blockade of the entrances.”
Sermsit Lipornket, another local resident, said that the workers erecting the fence don’t seem to care about people downhill from them.
“Once, a big rock fell down from the work site and hit the public toilet wall on the beach. Luckily, no one was using the toilet at the time. It is very dangerous.
“We have had no opportunity to speak with the land owner directly,” Mr Sermsit added.
Col Dutsadee, who is secretary-general of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), and has been investigating land allegedly occupied illegally by corrupt officials said after checking the site later in the afternoon that he thought more similar cases will emerge.
“Phuket has several mountains and hills, so there will be more cases involving land deeds being issued for places where there are public pipes or public land.
“I will check the case quickly – it may take about two weeks – so that we will know the exact area of the land,” he said.
Col Dutsadee also examined land in Baan Kuku, in Rassada sub-district, northeast of Phuket City.
“After checking all sites, I will bring all the land problem cases that I know of to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, so that they could make decisions to solve land problems in Phuket,” he said.