11 July 2024

Newly elected Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he is having a busy day today (Wednesday), a day after he assumed office, as he met with representatives of Krungthep Thanakom, a public company which is over 99% owned by the city administration as its investment arm and which is allocated a large budget each year.

Chadchart is also scheduled to meet with executives of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, a non-profit think tank.

The discussion today focuses on the Green Line sky-train project, for which the previous administration wanted to extend the operating concession, due to expire in 2029, by another 30 years, and the fare of 65 baht, which Chadchart and his team hope to reduce. They are also discussing the BRT bus service, which is currently losing about 120 million baht a year, the burying of overhead cables, which are under the supervision of Krungthep Thanakom.

The extension of the sky-train concession contract and the maximum train fare have come under heavy criticism, especially from the candidates in the recent Bangkok gubernatorial election.

Chadchart said, after the meeting, that details can be decided upon and announced in a month’s time, adding that it is not difficult for him to tackle unresolved mega projects, such as the Green Line system, because he is a newcomer and has no attachment to the key stakeholders.

While he assured that all parties in the projects will be treated fairly, public interest will come first, noting that there is no need to rush to extend the Green Line concession contract now, as there is plenty of time to consider the project.

The governor admitted that more than 5,000 complaints have been sent to his webpage, covering a wide range of problems from various groups of people, such as vendors and the disabled.

He said that the process for receiving complaints will be streamlined, to make it easier.

Chadchart won a landslide in the first Bangkok gubernatorial election in nine years on May 22. The official results were announced on Tuesday.