First Klong Dan payment made, despite calls to stall

Construction News

An areial view of Khlong Dan wastewater treatment project in Samut Prakan. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Despite calls for a delay, the Pollution Control Department already has paid its first instalment in the 9.8 billion baht in compensation it owes the NVPSKG consortium for the halted construction of the Klong Dan wastewater-treatment plant in Samut Prakan.

Director-general Vijarn Simachaya said the payment was made in order to comply with the Supreme Administrative Court’s order.

The first tranche of 3.2 billion baht and US$21.7 million (780.7 million baht) was paid Saturday. The second tranche of 2.4 billion baht and $16.3 million must be transferred by May 21, and the final payout of 2.4 billion baht and $16.3 million by Nov 21.

He said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, as chairman of the committee negotiating the payment terms, noted that if the government delayed the payment past the court’s deadline, trust issues might develop between the government and private sector.

However, the case is still pending for consideration by the Supreme Court and another case lodged by villagers in the Administration Court.

In November last year, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled the Pollution Control Department must pay compensation to the consortium for revoking a contract after construction already was 90% complete. The contracts were revoked on Feb 28, 2003.