Construction of the first phase of the Thai-Chinese railway project which was earlier projected to commence on October 23 will be further delayed due to overestimation of the project cost by the Chinese side.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpitthayapaisit said that the Chinese side had overestimated the construction cost of the first phase of the project between Bangkok and Kaeng Khoi covering a distance of 133 kilometres by between 20-30 percent compared to the Thai side’s estimation.
He pointed out there was technical difficulty in the construction of the first phase because about 75 percent of the route are mountainous and, therefore, tunnels have to be cut through the mountains to shorten the distance.
He went on saying that assessment of the anticipated income and operational costs still need to be made clear for the Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi section and the second section from Kaeng Khoi to Nakhon Ratchasima covering the distance of 138.5 kilometres.
The minister said that the Chinese side had been urged to speed up a detailed report of project study, survey, construction and designing of the second phase to be completed in October instead of November so as not to cause delay of the entire project.
Construction of the first phase is likely to be launched in December and it will take about three years.