Signing of high-speed train contract to link 3 airports on October 25th – DPM
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are expected to sign a contract for the high-speed train project, linking Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang international airports in Bangkok with U-Tapao airport in Rayong province, on October 25th after the new SRT board is approved by the cabinet today.
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Tuesday) that he is confident it will be signed on the 25th, adding that he has already met with Mr. Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation.
The CP-led consortium won the bid to build the 224-billion baht high-speed train project as part of a plan to develop the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024.
Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has rejected the request.
Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.
He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.
The deputy prime minister admitted that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit.
He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.