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Phuket U-turn flyover project expecting Royal Decree within 6 months

PHUKET: The Highways Department team responsible for the construction of the B200-million U-turn flyover project confirmed today (Jan 26) that the project will go ahead after they obtain a Royal Decree from the government in Bangkok to gain access to the land due to unwilling land owners in the surrounding areas.

By Shela Riva

Friday 26 January 2018, 04:38PM

With regards to construction materials left in one lane of Thepkrasattri Rd which has fueled complaints from locals, Project Engineer Kit Sonsuwan told The Phuket News, “The contractor has been able to start some parts of the construction and preparations, specifically in the middle of the road, where the Highways Department has access to the land.

“As we then encountered problems where nearly all of the land owners did not want their land to be expropriated, we had to file a request for a Royal Decree. The contractors said at first that they would remove the materials by December. But now they have requested more time until April.

“I think, if they were to remove everything now, they would have to put it back again later and it would cost them more time and money to do so, so they prolonged this,” he added.

“However, since we will be waiting for the Royal Decree for another six months or so, if they have not moved everything by April I will send another request for them to do so.”

“It is the fault of the Highways Department, as we had not obtained the land before hiring the contractor to start,” said Mr Kit.

Mr Kit explained the options available to the Highways Department in obtaining land for road projects:

1. The land owner gives the land to the Highways Dept.

2. The government transfers ownership of the land to the Highways Dept.

3. The Highways Dept request to use it under the ownership of the government.

4. Using a Royal Decree (requested from Bangkok government) which can be used in three ways:

- Offering monetary compensation to the land owner, together with enforcement of the Royal Decree

- Settling another type of agreement with the land owner together with enforcement of the Royal Decree

BIS Phuket

- The use of a Land Act law, along with the Royal Decree, and settling it lawfully (such as in a court).

“The Royal Decree will be used along with monetary reconciliation for a total of over 20 land owners,” added Mr Kit.

“If we are lucky, they will simply accept the money and the Royal Decree, and we will not have to enforce other methods.”

“One of the two points of the project that we call the ‘Yee Teng’ site, in Koh Kaew has six land owners that need to be reconciled with using the decree. The other point in Thalang, near the airport which we call the Mu Dok Khao site has 16 land owners,” he confirmed.

“The names of the project sites have been named after the names villagers around there use to refer to their areas,” he noted.

Somkiet Srikonkaew, the project’s lawyer, added, “Along with the Royal Decree we are waiting for more of the budget to be approved by the Prime Minister’s Office, to pay for both the reconciliations with land owners, and for the project itself.

“The design and plans are all ready once we obtain these. Meanwhile, the contract is continuing,” he added.

“The land owners will then be legally obliged to hand over land to the Highways Department, who will also pay them a sum to make sure they are in agreement.”

The Thalang flyover is planned to be 640 metres long, with the elevated section spanning 335m, while the Koh Kaew flyover will be 550m long and an elevated section spanning 315m.

The construction was meant to begin in October or November last year, Phuket Highways Office Director Patiwetwoottisak Sookki told The Phuket News in July last year. (See story here.)

“The project will need an extra 10 metres of land on both sides of each flyover, but compensation for land expropriated for both flyovers is not included in the budget,” Mr Patiwetwoottisa said at the time.



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Jor12 | 27 January 2018 - 15:51:53

The article points out the ways that are required to acquire land. It's up to the owners if they want to dig their heels in, it will be taken regardless. Best speak to your bush lawyer land owner and explain to him contractual matters.

Kurt | 27 January 2018 - 14:52:47

Even a 12 year old than knows, it will take a looong time to get that land, with or without Royal Decree.
For the present owners:... First my money, than the hand over.

A budget for construction only, and not for land appropriation is quite stupid, a land owner told me.

Jor12 | 27 January 2018 - 11:26:30

Pretty obvious even to a 12 year old. The budget is for construction only not land appropriation.

Kurt | 26 January 2018 - 21:41:31

Problem is in the tail of the article
."compensation for land expropriation is not included in the budget".
Why is that?
Was it expected so many landowners ( 20 + 16) were just handing over their land for free?
Is this whole construction stuff 'heavy' enough to require a Royal Decree?
And if so, than who forks up immediately the compensation budget?

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