11 July 2024

Krungthep Thanakom, a state enterprise under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), has informed the Administrative Court that the company, under its previous administration, was not authorised to hire the Bangkok Mass Transit System Company (BTS) to operate the first and second extensions of the Green Line train service.

The board of Krungthep Thanakom, at its meeting last week, authorised the company’s lawyer to inform the Administrative Court, in writing, that the contract between BTS and Krungthep Thanakom was illegal.

Krungthep Thanakom and the BMA are being sued by BTS, demanding the settlement of 10.6 billion baht in accumulated debt for operating the two Green Line extensions.

The first extension is from Taksin Bridge station to Wongwian Yai and Bang Wa stations and from On Nut station to Bearing station. The second extension is from Mor Chit station to Saphan Mai and Khu Khot stations and from Bearing to Keha station in Samut Prakan.

In the written notification to the court, Krungthep Thanakom said that only the Ministry of Interior has the authority to enter into a contract with a private entity, such as BTS, to operate the train service, not Krungthep Thanakom under its former management.

This means that the contract between BTS and Krungthep Thanakom is null and void, according to the notification, adding that the contract also deprived other private entities from competing for the right to operate the two extensions.

Prasaeng Mongkolsiri, president of Krungthep Thanakom, said that, with the new evidence submitted, the court should be able to rule on the case fairly.

Last September, the Administrative Court ruled in favour of BTS, ordering Krungthep Thanakom to pay BTS the outstanding debt, but Krungthep Thanakom appealed the ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court.