Bangkok governor-elect Chadchart Sittipunt on Thursday vowed to find a solution to problems surrounding the long-lasting dispute over the city’s Green Line electric rail system.
During a TV interview, Mr Chadchart said he would look into the concessions for operating the Green Line’s extensions, focussing on when the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) received debts incurred through the construction of the Green Line and its extensions from the government.
He said he will also investigate how the contract to operate the service was signed and how negotiations were conducted and concluded.
He wants to know what led to the decision to extend the concessions to BTS Group Holdings Plc (BTS) in exchange for debts with BTSG being written off.
Mr Chadchart said he was wondering if the transfer of Green Line debts to the BMA was lawful and approved by Bangkok Council.
He said the BMA should never shoulder the entire debt as the government should at least take the responsibility for debts concerning the construction and operation of the service on the Green Line’s Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani extensions.
Mr Chadchart also cast doubt on the contract signed by Krungthep Thanakom Co, a state enterprise under the BMA. He described the contract as a “black hole”.
He said it was signed under an order of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order, allowed under powers granted by Section 44 of the past interim charter and bypassing the usual scrutiny imposed under the public-private joint venture law.
A petition has been lodged with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) against the parties involved in the signing of the contract, he said, adding he will base his decision on the NACC’s findings. If the NACC finds the contract is fair and correct, it will remain firmly in place.