Phuket rockfall villa owners still live in fear
PHUKET: Villa owners in L’Orchidée project in Patong are still staying away from their homes for fear of more rocks raining down on them from an area above cleared by a construction contractor two weeks ago.
Friday 15 July 2011, 06:59AM
L’Orchidée Managing Director Jean-Jaques Gramond told The Phuket News on Tuesday that although it appeared that work on the hilltop has paused, small boulders were still falling onto the property, the latest one last weekend.
“We have filed cases twice with Kathu Police, once after the big rock fell and again last week when we could see that they were still working above us,” Mr Gramond said.
“The villa owners together will sue the construction contractor, demanding compensation for damage caused, for rental income lost and for the psychological effects of the fear of falling rocks. We are in the process of asking our lawyer to prepare a suit,” he said.
The Public Works Chief of Patong Municipality, Somphon Khwanyeaun, said the municipality’s lawyer has also filed the charge with Kathu Police against the contractor for clearing and digging up the land without permission.
Mr Somphon said the municipality had sent warning letters to the contractor demanding he stop work. The first letter was sent on June 28, after the complaint was received from L’Orchidée. A second letter was sent on July 1 but work continued until the end of last week.
“So far we haven’t seen them building any structure on that area, but simply digging up the land without permission is already illegal,” Mr Somphon said.
“Owners of properties affected by this work will have to sue them for the compensation by themselves,” he said.