Demolition of illegal resorts on Phu Tubberk begins as deadline expires today

Demolition of illegal resorts on Phu Tubberk continued today peacefully with no resistance after the seven-day deadline for owners to demolish their constructions by themselves expired today.

A 500-men combined force of local authorities, soldiers, police, forestry officials headed by the Phetchabun governor Bundit Thewithiwarak with heavy machinery entered Phu Tubberk early in the morning to demolish three resorts whose owners still ignored the deadline.

A total of 19 resorts were to be cleared from the hill after failing to abide by court orders to move out for forest encroachment.

But under order of the military junta chief exercising Section 44 of the interim charter, they were to move out instantly.

Nine resorts had been removed, and six are being dismantled by owners, but three still make no movement.

Mr Bundit said legal action would be taken if there is resistance of the demolition.

The demolition of illegal resorts built on Phu Tubberk is to return the hilly areas to the people as nobody can claim ownership in this forest reserve, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made it clear earlier.

The demolition team has set up an operation centre on the hill to supervise the demolition.

Earlier EOD team has entered the resorts to clear the place before giving a green light for the demolition team to begin demolition.

One resort owner, Keng Tiewpong-ngam, who still does not demolish his property after the deadline expired today came to collect furniture's inside his resort.

He said he could hardly keep his emotion if he has to demolish his own property built at the total cost of two million baht.

Most resorts built on the hill were knock down houses. Owners have now offered the sale of knock down houses at 100,000 baht each.

Two houses had been sold.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)