Rice Farmers Demand Superintendent is Removed After Failing to Settle Water Dispute
CityNews – Rice farmers from Mae Sao filed a petition to revoke Doi Pha Hom Pok Superintendent’s position.
Over 10 rice farmers from Mae Sao, Mae Ai visited City Hall on July 31st to file a petition asking to revoke Somsak Tithiyapon’s position as the superintendent of Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park. The requests stem from a conflict between the rice farmers and the orange farm owners over water supplies, which the superintendent has failed to resolve.
Somsak Khuenkaew, one of the rice farmers stated that the conflict has been chronic. The orange farms whose lands are located up stream to the rice farms have been draining most of the water to their farm causing a water shortage for the over 10,000 rai of paddy fields below. Somsak said the farmers filed the issue to the prime minister on January last year and the prime minister has given an order to urgently resolve the problem.
The issue was concluded with an agreement for orange farms to stop using big water pipes, using 2 inches pipes instead. However, the orange farms have not adhered to the ruling, and have continued using large pipes. The rice farmers have filed complaints to the superintendent of Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park but received no response which the rice farmers perceive as move to benefit the orange farm owners.
The petition was received by Supachai Iamsuwan, the governor of Chiang Mai.