Mall Accused of using 200 Million Bt of Public Land for Fountain Court

 | Tue 22 Jan 2019 13:04 ICT

CityNews – Chiang Mai University’s Civil Engineering Department, Assoc. Prof. Chuchoke Aryupong has pointed out that the corner of Huay Kaew Road and the Superhighway, which today is used as a fountain court by Maya Lifestyle Mall, is in parts, public land belonging to the Royal Highway Department.

Posting on his Facebook wall, Assoc. Prof. Chuchoke’s post soon went viral with prominent past Deans of numerous university faculties, as well as past university presidents lending support to his claim. The Assoc. Prof. claimed that part of the fountain court of the mall is in fact public land, estimated to be worth around 200 million baht and demanded it be returned to the people.

Following the post, academics split in opinion as to what to do with the land, with some wishing the Highway Department to expand the corner of the road to create more through traffic to the highway, while others wishing to make the space a true public space for activities, but clearly demarked from the mall’s land, proposing it be called ‘Khung Rin Kum’. The group that supports the public space say that over 10,000 tourists per day come to the area and that the 1,500 square metre space would be better used for public activities.

Dr. Wasan Chomphakdee, President of the Committee of Mae Ping and Environment Conservation said that this is now a space similar to Tha Pae Gate and has more value for activities than as a road.

The Head of the Highway Department Region 2 came out to admit that it was indeed public land which they had agreed to allow the mall to use following a request by the mall during construction and when traffic wasn’t as bad as it is today. He went on to say that his department had issued a letter in August last year to end the contract with the mall and to reclaim the land.

At this point there is no clear indication as to what will happen to the land.