Friday, April 26, 2013

New minor district due to a white elephant?

In Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province, a white elephant was observed in a group of elephants at a water hole. Given the symbolic importance of white elephants in all of South East Asia, this would be big news in Thailand especially once the observation is confirmed - there's still the chance that the elephant bathed in light colored mud before and thus only looked as having a very lightly colored skin. But to my surprise this could even have implication to the administrative units.
เมื่อวันที่ 25 เม.ย. นายมณเทียร ทองนิตย์ ผวจ.เพชรบุรี เปิดเผยว่า ได้สั่งการให้ นายขจรศักดิ์ สมบูรณ์ นอภ.แก่งกระจาน จ.เพชรบุรี ไปตรวจสอบข้อมูลต่างๆถึงความเป็นไปได้ในการจัดตั้งเป็นกิ่งอำเภอป่าเด็ง เพื่อดูแลช้างป่าเป็นพิเศษ และยังสามารถให้บริการประชาชนได้อย่างใกล้ชิดและทั่วถึง [...]
On April 25, Monthian Thongnit, province governor of Phetchaburi told that he ordered Khachorasak Sombun, district officer of Kaeng Krachan to check the information reaching to the creation of minor district Pa Daeng to look after the elephant forest as a special case while still service the citizen closely and thoroughly.
(Source: "ร้องตรวจสอบ หลังเผยภาพลับแท้จริงเป็นช้างเผือกหรือช้างคลุกฝุ่น", DailyNews, April 25 2013)
If the news article is correctly quoting the administrative change suggested, the new minor district would consist of just one subdistrict. Pa Daeng subdistrict has a population of 5402 (as of 2012), covers 273.568 km² (170,980 rai) and consists of 9 administrative villages. The subdistrict was created in 1988 by splitting 4 Muban from Song Phi Nong subdistrict [Gazette]. With just one subdistrict, it would be of course a very small district, though there are still two other districts having a lower population number. By area, it would be middle-sized, but that's obviously due to the large unpopulated forest areas of the subdistrict which make up the national park.

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