Stop! Big Buddha builders told
The Forestry Department (FD) yesterday instructed the Big Buddha Foundation (BBF) to wind down immediately its work constructing the Big Buddha statue park on top of the Nakkerd Hills and hand over the project to the Kata Kittisangkharam Temple.
Saturday 6 August 2011, 09:14AM
A meeting of FD officials and BBF representatives at Provincial Hall on August 4 resolved that, by the end of the year, the foundation must remove a statue of King Rama V and various buildings around the statue, all of which were built outside the provisions of the original project agreement.
That agreement specified five years for the completion of the Big Buddha. It has taken about nine years so far and is still not quite complete
The current FD permit for work to be done on the forest reserve site expires on September 30. But the project has now spread well beyond its original scope – a small meditation centre and park around the Big Buddha – to include a plan for a Buddhist museum inside the enormous statue. The museum plan has now been ordered scrapped.
In April the BBF was cleared of allegations of mismanaging financial donations for the landmark and of bribing FD officials to ignore the fact that the project had not been completed by the original set date and that its scope had gone far beyond the original agreement.