Ultimatum given to operator to demolish slider on Koh Tao in 15 days

Local authorities today issued an ultimatum ordering a resort hotel at Koh Tao island in Pha-ngan district in Surat Thani to dismantle it's long and steep slider built from the top of a hill to the beach saying the structure is violating the law.

The order was given to the Saidaeng resort hotel operator to demolish the slider in 15 days after a video clip was posted on the Internet and went viral on the social world showing the slider was built near a resort hotel from the top of a hill down to the beach.

The clip created public outcry and raised scepticism over the legality of the construction of both the resort and the slider.

The resort hotel is located next to the beach with several rooms built on the surrounding slopes.

The ultimatum came from the chief officer of Koh Pha-ngan district Krirkrai Songthani after inspecting the slider and the hotel today after Mr Prawet Thaiprayoon, the deputy governor of Surat Thani, ordered officials from the relevant departments to investigate the matter.

The deputy governor instructed the investigation to find out the legality of the land permits, whether the hotel encroached on National park areas, whether construction and buildings have encroached on the beaches and seashore, and whether permit was granted for the construction of the slider.

After inspecting the hotel today, it was found that the slider was built without official permit, while the resort operator rented the areas from local administration to operate resort business.

The chief district officer then ordered the resort owner to demolish the slider within 15 days.

This was fully complied with by the resort operator who promised to demolish it immediately.

For resort business, it will be allowed to operate as usual but authorities will look into whether the site of the resort on the beach violates any laws, he said.

Earlier the deputy governor Mr Prawet said the location is very hilly with steep inclines making entry and exit extremely difficult.

However he said it is not yet clear if any park lands have been encroached upon.

But he promised that provincial authorities will be coordinating with local authorities on the island to get to the bottom of the matter.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)