thailand | Ombudsman resolved complaint about an impact from sand mining in Yan Ta Khao district, Trang province

In 2003 the government issued a policy concerning an execution of dredging brooks, streams, canals, ponds, lakes, coastal areas and rivers in order to prevent recurring floods and drought. They allowed the province to develop their comprehensive plans to efficiently and effectively prevent and resolve floods and drought as well as technically stated that relevant people or private sectors are applicable to scooped rocks, stones, soil and sand as a compensatory payment in dredging these items or that the provincial administration is applicable to use them for their advantages.

The execution of dredging public water resources – which are under the administration of Ministry of Interior and the Marine department – aims to resolve and to prevent floods and drought as well as to maximize profits for people living in the area.

Sand is considered a valuable natural resource and – currently – is in high demand of several industries, especially the construction that covers from small buildings to large infrastructures e.g., airports, buildings, highways etc. With this high level of demand, a license of sand extraction must be granted in order to protect environmental areas of sand resources. A sand mining without proper management normally generates impact on natural and environmental resources e.g., ecology problems, soil transformation, change in waterways, problems of water quality and problems of pollution from sand mining.

People living in Yan Ta Khao district, Trang province, filed a complaint into the Ombudsman and requested a fact finding about unlicensed sand mining that causes a riverside collapse and damaged roads from sand truck commuting which led to people undue burdens.

The investigation team was assigned to conduct fact findings and discussion with pertinent agencies. It was found that there are 6 licensed, authorized by Ministry of Industry, sand mines in that area – one mine located at Moo 5, Phrong Chorakae subdistrict; three mines respectively located at Moo 1, 6, 8, Khuan subdistrict; and 2 mines located at Moo 5, Nong Bo subdistrict. Among these mines, 2 mines are still active while the other four were completely inactive. All mines are operated in the domains – with licenses from Ministry of Industry – and adjoin Lum Pikul canal, the main waterway that varies in width and depth along Yan Ta Khao and Na Yong districts.

To read more, please find the full press release in the download section below.


Source: Office of the Ombudsman, Thailand


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