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Chiang Rai’s Governor Rejects 32-Million Baht Tourism Project on Kok River

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CHIANG RAI – Chiang Rai’s Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn has rejected a 32-million baht project submitted by the Municipality of Chiang Rai to develop a 18-rai of island in Kok river as a tourist spot after suspecting irregularities in the project.

The “Lanna” cultural tourism area was to feature the construction of two 7-metre high elephant statues alongside the statute of “Phraya Mengrai”, the ancient founder of Chiang Rai.

The Mayor of Chiang Rai submitted the tourism project to Governor, Narongsak Osottanakorn for approval, however the Governor refused to sign the approval, suspecting irregularities in the 32-million baht project.

Meanwhile the Marine Office Chiang Rai Branch director Suranart Sirichoti said he has filed charge against the municipality of Chiang Rai and 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 to Thai Media 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.

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