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Court residences mountain site at risk from natural disasters: experts

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Court residences mountain site at risk from natural disasters: experts

By NISANART KANGWANWONG, 
PATHINYA SRISUPAMART 
THE NATION

 

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Steep slopes around structures that were initially built to be the residences of court officials in Chiang Mai province.

 

THERE ARE significant risks of natural disasters at the controversial site where court officials’ residences are being built at the foot of Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep Mountain, a team of experts has concluded after a site inspection.
 

“They should be dismantled fast so as to pave the way for environmental rehabilitation,” Assoc Professor Chuchoke Aryupong, who heads Chiang Mai University’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Disaster management, said yesterday. 

 

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He was among experts who inspected the site with members of the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) on Tuesday. 

 

Court officials had planned to use the structures as residences, but because of strong protests from Chiang Mai people and |environmentalists and intervention by the government, it has been agreed that the buildings will not be used. 

 

Chuchoke said that even with little rain, there was clear erosion at the site. 

 

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“This is because the natural surrounding has been altered for the construction. If land was left as it had long been, soil texture would have been more solid. Erosion would have not been so clearly visible,” he said. 

 

He said that there was a risk of landslides and structure collapse and as the area was surrounded by abundant forests there was also the risk of forest fires. 

 

Bunchong Somboonchai, a lecturer at the Maejo University, said a huge amount of sludge had flowed from the site to the nearby waterways, which was damaging the local environment. 

 

“There are so many withering branchless trees,” he said. 

 

Bunchong also noticed the risk of collapsing structures at the site. 

 

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Among the riskiest locations were zones initially prepared for court presidents. 

 

Teerasak Rupsuwan, coordinator of the Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network, said he hoped the government would end the ongoing construction at the site. “You can save many trees at the very least,” he said. 

 

He said his network would stage a rally again on June 30 to follow up on the reclamation of the site. 

 

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The construction of the residences has caused a major controversy because they are seen as encroaching on the Doi Sithep forest zone.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30347783

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-15

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I suspect that despite the publication date in the Nation, the actual "inspection" event occurred quite some time ago ("Chuchoke said that even with little rain,").

 

It's already been reported within the last week, with accompanied photographs taken at night, seem to show people are living in these houses despite government declarations no one is to live there. 

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These are pretty fancy "shacks". Gotta love the perks of those "court official" jobs.

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Better to  tear them down.... :whistling:

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Court officials had planned to use the structures as residences, but because of strong protests from Chiang Mai people and |environmentalists and intervention by the government, it has been agreed that the buildings will not be used. More lies their moving in !!! Shouldn't that read "Where court officials residences are STILL being built" ?

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It's been reported that the current occupants moved there in April.

The agreement to not use the residences was in May.

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3 minutes ago, TerryLH said:

It's been reported that the current occupants moved there in April.

The agreement to not use the residences was in May.

So that means those who moved in in April will be moving out. Simple.

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The judges won't be going anywhere; unless their houses slide down the hill. There was some suggestion recently that there are laws in place which make it difficult to move them out. 

Seeing as how it is judges who interpret the laws it seems unlikely that in any court they will rule against themselves. 

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Lets hope that nature steps in to give a helping hand to the demolition, and the faster the better !

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The real intrigue is where the money for these structures came from.  Apparently not from the government?  I wonder if there is a policy similar to some police forces that are expected to fund the majority of their costs from fines - often on the motorist which has been a topic in the UK.  However it is slightly more alarming if it is coming from court finances.

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Posted (edited)

Literally a slippery slope. Now the junta has the perfect excuse to tear down these monuments to corruption and cronyism without losing face. Who knows? - if they act quickly they might even win a few extra votes at the general election.

Edited by Krataiboy

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32 minutes ago, Krataiboy said:

Literally a slippery slope. Now the junta has the perfect excuse to tear down these monuments to corruption and cronyism without losing face. Who knows? - if they act quickly they might even win a few extra votes at the general election.

Having seen these pictures, I suspect that nature will beat the Government to the demolition process.

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A waste to tear them down as far as I am concerned. Finish them, sell them off.

 

Use the proceeds to build homes for the homeless or buy land to put into the forest reserve.

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3 hours ago, timewilltell said:

The real intrigue is where the money for these structures came from.  Apparently not from the government?  I wonder if there is a policy similar to some police forces that are expected to fund the majority of their costs from fines - often on the motorist which has been a topic in the UK.  However it is slightly more alarming if it is coming from court finances.

The Courts of Justice have an independent secretariat, namely, the Office of the Judiciary.  The Office of the Judiciary has autonomy in personnel administration, budget, and other activities as provided by law.

This means that the COJ budget is submitted separately and independently from the Prime Minister's budget that covers the Executive branch of government. But I'd expect COJ funding comes largely from the Thai taxpayer vis a vis the Treasury with contributions from government tariffs, fees and fines.

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Probably classed as an act of God so even if anyone has insurance it'll not be covered. Let's pray for rain. Honestly though, who actually believed they were gonna not go live in them? Remember when they said they weren't gonna build the super highway over X amount of natural waterways, there were protests and marches and everything, then they went ahead and did it anyway? 

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BANGKOK 24 June 2018 15:43
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