Illegal Pattaya houses demolished to clear path of high-speed train

Workers of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) together with staff of the Royal Irrigation Department demolish illegal houses built on land expropriated for the Bangkok-Pattaya high-speed rail project.

The State Railway of Thailand demolished illegally built structures on land expropriated for the Bangkok-Pattaya high-speed rail project.

Crews showed up May 10 to bulldoze houses owned by Somboon Charoenkit and Lumphu Thongpliew, whose land the government seized and offered compensation for in February last year if the land was held legally. It was not.

The tenants, who said they do not have leases or deeds for the land they’re squatting on, cannot collect the government handout. So they pleaded for more time, saying they still weren’t ready to relocate at their own expense. Railroad officials refused the request, saying the two had been served eviction papers long ago and had been given many extensions.

Somboon was offered 1.9 million baht and Lumphu 821,929 baht for their homes and land. But, to collect, they had to present their land deeds to the Royal Irrigation Department. Neither one actually had a deed or lease and the homes were built illegally.

As a result, the two were offered 324,730 baht and 283,745 baht, respectively, as compensation. The two tenants rejected the offer and appealed to Chonburi Province for more money.

The SRT said that if the two were encroaching on public land, then they were due only the lesser and served a final eviction order Jan. 18. The compensation offer expired March 18.

Their houses razed, both former tenants plan to file a grievance with the transport and agriculture ministries.

Somboon Charoenkit and Lumphu Thongpliew refused the minimum compensation offered even though they did not have deeds or a lease