Fury in Phrae as historical building torn down

Construction News
The 127-year-old building in Phrae is seen before it was torn down, triggering an uproar among local residents and conservation groups. The building used to house the offices of a British company which won a logging concession in the province more than a century ago. Subin Khuenkaew

Fury in Phrae as historical building torn down

Phrae governor tries to sidestep blame

Phrae: The provincial governor has ordered a probe into the demolition of a 127-year-old two-storey building that was once used by the British.

The demolition of the house provoked an uproar among local residents.

The building was an office that belonged to the Bombay Burmah Trading Company, which was granted a logging concession in the western Yom River in 1889. It is located in Ban Chetawan of Muang district.

The first storey was constructed out of cement and teak wood was used in the building of the upper floor, which was recently torn down as part of a restoration project for a forestry learning centre on the grounds of the Chetawan Arboretum.

Residents and conservation groups were outraged by the demolition and demanded the parties responsible be brought to justice.

They said the building is part of the province’s historical legacy. They said that the authorities in charge of taking care of the building should have repaired it instead of bringing down the entire structure.

No study was carried out in the restoration of the building, they said.

Provincial governor Kanprempree Chitanont said he led an inspection into the demolition and ordered a fact-finding panel to be formed to look into the issue.

According to the governor, the Forestry Conservation Area Office 13 is the registered owner of the building.

He said office director Issaret Sitthirojanakul issued an order to dismantle the building as part of the learning centre renovation project at the arboretum, noting the work was financed by a budget sought in the previous fiscal year.

The governor said four million baht was sought during the last fiscal year to repair the house. However, he had no idea how the project ended up with the building being brought to the ground.

Mr Issaret said he meant well in trying to give the building a new lease on life. However, he did not anticipate that it would provoke so much public displeasure.

He said the engineer commissioned to undertake the project is due to explain the details of the work on Friday.

Pattana Sengriang, an academic familiar with the building, said said legal action should be taken against anyone connected to it to the demolition.

He said the demolition of the building is considered irreparable damage.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1935952/fury-as-historical-building-torn-down