Mon Jam encroachment saga continues

 | Thu 5 Nov 2020 11:49 ICT

Witawat Rachatanan, the chairman of the Ombudsman and Vatunyu Thipmonta, Deputy Secretary of Office of the Ombudsman and team, surveyed Doi Mon Jam, Mae Rim district to monitor the ordered dismantling of Mae Rim National Reserved Forest encroachment by those using land for accommodations and resorts, after a group of villagers in Doi Mon Jam complained that government officials had abused their authority.

Vichit Metha-anantklu, the President of Mon Jam Agricultural Tourism Community Enterprise, said that the operation by the authorities had a great impact. 19 villagers have been prosecuted and the number of tourists is decreasing causing a 20 percent loss of income.

The latest data showed that there are 113 cases of illegal conversion from agricultural land to resort businesses, 82 of which are currently under investigation and 31 have been prosecuted.

Witawat said he would discuss with relevant organisations to plan for area management and coexistence of the community for a good quality of life and still maintain the integrity of natural resources. There might be a development in the form of community enterprises or agro-tourism to promote sustainable community.