6 June 2024

People’s networks in Ranong and Chumphon provinces rallied in front of Lang Suan district office on Friday, to voice their strong opposition to the multi-billion baht land bridge mega project, to be located in the two southern provinces.

The protesters issued a statement, calling for the cancellation of the project, which they claim will use a lot of resources in the two provinces, which would be better preserved for their children and grandchildren.

The land bridge project is huge, comprising several multi-billion baht sub-projects, such as the construction of deep-sea ports on both the Andaman and Gulf of Thailand coasts, the construction of a motorway, a dual-track train system to link the two ports, a massive industrial estate, container yards at both ports, a power plant to supply electricity to all industry and port operations and a reservoir to supply industry’s water needs.

Citing studies into the project, the protesters say that about 1,120 hectares of coastal land and sea in Ranong province will be needed for the deep-sea port in Ranong and about 928 hectares in Chumphon.

On top of that, a lot of land will have to be expropriated for the construction of the motorway, the dual-track train system and the reservoir.

It is estimated that the total cost of the land bridge project will be one trillion baht at today’s prices.

Investors will be granted 99-year concessions to operate the two ports and other facilities.

The land bridge is a flagship policy of the Pheu Thai party, aiming to realise a long-time dream of Thailand to shorten the time taken to ship goods between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf, which currently travel though the Straits of Malacca.

During his many overseas trips, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been trying to woo transnational corporations to invest in the project.