Ministry calls for Article 44 to hasten rail project

13.06.17

THE TRANSPORT MINISTRY today will propose to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that he consider invoking the special power of Article 44 of the junta-imposed interim charter to speed up the development of the Thailand-China high-speed-rail project linking Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchasima, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said yesterday.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said he would ask Prayut, who is head of the ruling junta, to consider the matter but declined to elaborate, just adding that his ministry would table the project for Cabinet consideration this month as originally scheduled.

Somkid said the Transport Ministry would also have to ask the Japanese government for more details on its proposal that the planned Bangkok-Pattaya-Rayong high-speed railway be extended to Ayutthaya. At this stage the original plan remains unchanged.

He said the Transport Ministry had made a lot of progress in pushing forward its infrastructure projects, including in the Eastern Economic Corridor, such as the Bangkok-Pattaya-Rayong high-speed railway planned to link three airports, as well as the double-tracking projects.

Arkhom said his ministry had held a new round of market sounding for investors interested in the Bangkok-Hua Hin high-speed railway worth an estimated Bt94 billion, as ordered by the State Enterprise Policy Office. It will send the results to Sepo and the government’s Public-Private Partnership Committee.

In August, the ministry will propose for the Cabinet’s consideration nine double-track rail routes (Phase 2 of this project) for the 2017 action plan worth Bt390 billion.