Park department hatches plan to solve land disputes

The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (NPWPCD) has come up with a new proposal to accelerate its work to resolve land disputes at the Thap Lan National Park by dividing the problems into three groups.

The idea was floated by a new centre set up recently to deal with the problems facing the park, covering areas in both Prachin Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces, said Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of the NPWPCD, on Sunday.

The centre will implement an operation plan to deal with land disputes.

The first group of problems are land disputes involving a combined area of 58,582 rai covering areas in three districts of Nakhon Ratchasima, namely Wang Nam Khieo, Khon Buri and Pak Thong Chai, he said.

Two organisations involved in the disputes are the the Thap Lan National Park and the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro), he said.

The centre proposes to authorise either the Alro, the NPWPCD or both to consider declaring as invalid those plots of land proved to be a part of the national park, he said.

The second group of land problems deal with areas in the park that were set aside for poor farmers in four projects carried out in 1978, before the national park’s existence was recognised by a cabinet resolution on June 30, 1998, he said. In response, the NPWPCD is accelerating its survey of the areas and expects to wrap up the work by the end of next month.

In the Soeng Sang-Khon Buri forest development project in Soeng Sang and Khon Buri districts of Nakhon Ratchasima, for instance, 48 teams are speeding up their work surveying about 15,000 plots of land covering more than 100,000 rai, said Prawatsat Chanthep, head of the Thap Lan National Park.

The third group of issues concerns those people occupying land in the park set aside for poor farmers under the cabinet resolution, Mr Thanya said.

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