EARTH Thailand

65 projects remain suspended

The Nation 02 December 2009

The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday permits 11 Map Ta Phut projects put on hold by a court injunction to go ahead.

Operations of the remaining 65 projects will still be suspended under the court injunction ordered in September.

The court's reading came after government agencies and private companies of Map Ta Phut projects appealed against the injunction

The Central Administrative Court issued the injunction on September 28, which was appealed against by National Environmental Board, ministers and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand on October 2.

The Court ruled to suspend 76 projects inside the industrial estate on grounds that they negatively affected the health of residents and the environment. The government later appealed the court order, citing the possible lost benefits of the projects on the economy.

The government had agreed to the civic network's idea of setting up an independent committee to examine the 76 projects one by one in order to determine their impact on communities and the environment.

The proposal is for the panel to consist of representatives from local communities, the private sector, the public sector and experts (lawyers and journalists), said Suthi.

The panel would ensure that the constitutional clause on environment preservation would be complied and would suggest appropriate courses of action for relevant state agencies. He said the civic sector would follow up to see whether the state agencies would act as suggested.