Demonstrators stop construction at Patong

17 Oct 2011

In Patong on Friday, 400 local residents gathered to protest against a hilltop construction project that had resulted in debris falling on their community. The demonstrators blocked Phra Barami Road near the access route to Kwan Yin Shrine and demanded that construction be halted.  

A spokesman for the group said that mud, trees, rocks and rubbish had slipped down the steep slope where the shrine is being built. The recent heavy rains have exacerbated the problem and the slope above the village has been completely stripped bare of any vegetation.

The protestors said they would not move from the road unless their demands were met in full. They demanded that all work be stopped immediately and plant machinery removed; the construction site be restored to its natural state, and that all damage to roads and property be put right.

One-time Patong mayor Doctor Anan Anantanawat represents the foundation that owns the hilltop site. He led a delegation of local officials at a meeting with the community residents at a nearby mosque, where he acceded to the demonstrators’ demands.  

The demonstrators said afterwards that until the rains came, debris falling down the hillside was not a big problem. However once it started raining, narrow sois (lanes) filled with sand and mud that had been washed down.

The residents said they had already written to the current mayor of Patong and other local government officials, but as no action had been taken they decided that a demonstration was the only option left open to them.  

Tags: Demonstrators stop construction

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