Before taking a helicopter ride to look at the park from the air, Adm Narong – who was on a two-day visit to the island – met with Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) officials, to push forward the NCPO’s agenda “to take back Sirinart National Park” from encroachers.
Samak Donnapee, the DNP’s director of National Parks, and Kittiphat Tharaphiban, head of Sirinart National Park, explained to the admiral about the many areas found to be encroaching on the park have only SorKor 1 papers, based on vague descriptions without any survey having been carried out. In some cases the plots appear to overlap.
Roughly half of the papers describe land that is in the park, while the other half describe land that is partly inside the park.
Noting that there are some 3,000 parcels of land in Phuket with SorKor 1 papers, Adm Narong said that the Land Department should supply information about these, too.
Adm Narong said the reorganisation of public space on Patong, Kata, Karon, Surin, Nai Thon Kamala and Nai Harn beaches had been a success, The Bangkok Post reported.
Private business owners and vendors had been building illegal structures on Phuket beaches for decades, he said.
"Now the beach areas are as beautiful and natural as they used to be and tourists and Phuket residents are pleased with them and want to keep it this way forever," he said.
"I must ask Phuket people to help keep the beaches free of encroaching structures as long as possible," Adm Narong was quoted as saying in the Bangkok Post.
The Admiral also met with Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin from Provincial Police Region 8, who is leading the crackdown on mafia taxi activities in Phuket. And also concerned officers from both sections to give the information.
Capt Petrat Tienjan, deputy director of the Naval Command Division of the Royal Thai Naval Third Fleet said that about the 300 taxi groups on the island, comprising about 4,000 taxis, will be reorganised so that drivers who are not breaking the law can make a living.
The illegal “black taxis” were told that from July 1 they must not pick up passengers, but with the approach of the high season, with greater demand for transport, they too will be reorganised so that they are legal.
Police Region 8 are collaborating with the Navy on how this all can be achieved, Capt Petrat said.