The northern city is going green ahead of the crucial meeting between local people and government representatives over the future of the controversial housing project on the foot of Doi Suthep.
Green ribbons, designated as the symbol against the controversial project, have been put on several trees, including those around moats in Chiang Mai, in a campaign by one of the networks to protect the forest on the famous mountain.
Shops, houses, public transport and other vehicles in the city are encouraged to show their stand by tying the ribbons.
The attention will be shifted tomorrow (May 6) to the talks between leaders of civic groups and the government led by Prime Minister’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, who has been assigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to find a solution.
Both sides expect to reach a common ground during the meeting although it might not meet all of the people’s demands, which include the demolition of 48 houses under construction for judges and judicial officials.
The houses are built in a residential area of the Administrative Office of Appeal Region 5 in Mae Rim district. They sit on the highest location of the compound.
“We hope to see tangible results. I don’t want to go back to square one and see another committee set up,” network spokesman Bannaros Buaklee told Matichon Online yesterday (May 4).
The civic groups have indicated at the very least they want to see the housing area declared off-limits until a solution is found on what to do with the 99%-complete houses.
Mr Suwaphand said on Thursday (May 3) that he will be at the negotiating table in Chiang Mai with no hidden agenda and also stressed public benefits from the decision.
Tortrakul Yomnak, the former president of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, offered a way out on his Facebook account on Thursday. He suggested the houses be relocated to a new location, instead of being bulldozed.
“Thailand has the know-how to relocate houses and big buildings. I think the idea should be considered to solve the problem at Doi Suthep,” he told Chula Radio, a radio station of Chulalongkorn Universtiy, yesterday.
Besides the 48 houses, the project under the Treasury Department comprises three flats and two office buildings for a total cost of B1 billion.
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