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Armed negotiations re-open road to Phuket beach

A road across private land leading to Laem Nga Beach in Rassada was opened yesterday (Mar 29) after military personnel with assault rifles looked on while a delegation of officials held discussions with the land owner’s legal representative.

armed negotiationsLeading the delegation was Phuket Vice Governor Khajornkiet Rakpanichmanee, accompanied by Phuket Damrongdhama Centre (Ombudsman’s Office) Chief Prapan Kanprasang and Lt Sompop Kamkhana of the Royal Thai Navy.

In tow joining the delegation were village headmen and local residents of Moo 1, Rassada.

Up until Monday, the road had been blocked off by a barrier and barbed wire, prompting the official visit yesterday accompanied by armed escorts.

The unnamed and undesignated road is open temporarily while officials investigate why the Department of Rural Roads built it across 199 rai of private land, V/Gov Khajornkiet said.

“For me, it looks like a public road, but we will contact the Department of Rural Roads and look into the origin of this road again. We want to know why a government road was built on private land,” he said.

“The legal representative from Laem Nga Development Co Ltd told us that the road was closed because it crosses private land, which the owner has never granted public access.

“The company has have a right to block off roads across its own land. However, I asked the company to give residents temporary access until we conclude our investigation,” he added.

The road was made 15 years ago by the Department of Rural Roads, V/Gov Khajornkiet explained.

“Then Rassada Municipality took responsibility for it. The 10-metre-wide road goes all the way to the beach and cuts right through 199 rai of private land,” he said.

The road was blocked off with a barrier after a land survey in 2011, V/Gov Khajornkiet noted.

“But the survey that year states that the private land is beside the public road, not overlapping it,” he added.

Phuket News

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