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Chiang Rai governor rejects cultural tourism project in Kok river

The governor of Chiang Rai province has rejected the 32-million baht project of the Chiang Rai Municipality to develop a 18-rai of island in Kok river as a tourist spot after suspecting of irregularities of the project.

The spot for the Lanna cultural tourism will feature the construction of two 7-metre high elephant statues alongside the statute of Phraya Mengrai, the ancient founder of Chiang Rai.

However the governor, Mr Narongsak Osottanakorn, didn't sign approval of the project when the Chiang Rai mayor submitted it for approval of construction.

The governor suspected irregularities might involve in the construction project.

Meanwhile the Marine Office Chiang Rai Branch director Suranart Sirichoti said he has filed charge against the municipality and all relevant officials for encroaching on the island after they filled up soil to connect the island with the shore which is a violation of the law.

He explained that the island has been declared the property of the Treasury Department since 1989. But the Municipality later sought permission to utilize the island for cultural tourism, and to build the statutes.

But it was rejected with reason of unsuitable location.

The Municipality then chose a new site at the old town hall and planned to call a public hearing on the project but was again rejected.

The minister of interior has been informed of the project candidate has set up a fact finding committee to investigate.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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