Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has sped up the construction of four high-speed railways, pushed for
property development along their routes and pointed at the Bangkok-Rayong railroad as the pilot project.
“Many stations along the railroads have potential to develop commercially,” he said after meeting yesterday with Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on drawing up a plan to make use of land along the rail lines. The move is part of the government’s policy to drive the economy through investment along the East Economic Corridor. The three other lines are BangkokNakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok-Hua Hin and Bangkok-Chiang Mai. The Transport Ministry would study the return on investment of each project and the number of stations with potential for commercial development.
“We expect the study’s results within two weeks before submitting it to the premier,” he said. Arkhom said the Transport Ministry expects to propose two high-speed railway projects – Bangkok-Rayong and Bangkok-Hua Hin – to the PPP Committee for consideration this month at the earliest or later next month.
The aim is to seek participation from the private sector. For the Bangkok-Rayong commercial development project, the ministry expects to open bidding by the end of this year. In parallel, bidding on the construction and operation of the 193km Bangkok-Rayong and the 211km Bangkok-Hua Hin high-speed railway projects would be pushed to open this year. The Bangkok-Rayong project was estimated at Bt95 billion and the BangkokHua Hin project at Bt152 billion. “Both railroads are waiting for the results of their environment impact assessment, expecting that they should be coming out this month before seeking approval from the Cabinet,” he said. – The Nation