Twenty-six years of legal battles and standoffs between some 200 residents of Mahakarn Fort and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) came to an end yesterday (April 25) with the last seven families agreeing to move out of this 200 years old community to new places at Buddhamonthon Sai 2 in Nakhon Pathom and Bang Sue district in Bangkok.
The eviction of the remaining seven houses of a total 50 houses in this 4-rai land at Mahakarn Fort in the Rattanakosin island, one of Bangkok’s two remaining pre-modern forts, was supervised by Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang.
He thanked the residents for their cooperation to relocate to the places arranged by the BMA, allowing the City Hall to develop Mahakarn Fort area into a public park for recreational purpose of the people.
Pol Gen Aswin said the BMA will spend 69 million budget to renovate and reinforce the structure of the fort, which had been registered as a historic site by the Fine Arts Department (FAD).
The fort’s compound will be landscaped into a recreational area, he said, adding that the renovation will complete in one month under close consultation with the FAD.
He said the area will be cleared by this Sunday (April 29) with City workers trimming the trees and moving out debris and garbage.
One community resident Mrs Kua Prachuabsuk said if she could choose, she would like to live and die here.
Mahakarn Fort was built in the reign of King Rama I. The old fort has become a residential area for over 200 residents for several generations. They have been fighting for more than two decades to keep their community at its original status after the BMA was granted a royal decree for land expropriation in 1992 to improve the site of Rattanakosin Island.