The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) is going ahead with the second round of bidding for the construction of the Orange Line’s western extension, as it appeals a Central Administrative Court verdict which ruled its decision to scrap the first round of bidding as unlawful.
The court had earlier in the month ruled in favour of the plaintiff, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), saying the MRTA’s decision on Feb 3 to scrap the first round of bidding, which the BTSC took part in, was against the law.
In addition to cancelling the first round of bidding, the MRTA also sent out an invitation to tender under revised terms, which led to the lawsuit by the BTSC.
In a statement, the MRTA said it is exercising its right to appeal the court’s decision, as it is entitled to request a review within a month of the ruling.
As the appeal has yet to be finalised, the court’s ruling is therefore not final and binding, which means the MRTA can still proceed with the second round of bidding.
The MRTA also insisted that the second round of bidding, first announced on May 24, would be done in a lawful and transparent manner in order to ensure free and fair competition in the project.
It went on to threaten legal action against anyone who tries to delay the second round of bidding.
The MRTA issued the statement in response to a petition filed by the BTSC with the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) on Wednesday.
Suramon Mimeskul, a BTSC representative, said the MRTA is violating the law by pressing ahead with the new round of bidding without waiting until the legal battle is over.
The MRTA has simply ignored the Central Administrative Court’s ruling and continued with the fresh round of bidding, he said, adding that the MRTA has asked bidders to submit their proposals by next Wednesday, as the bids will be reviewed on Aug 1 to determine the winner.
In response to the petition, the DSI said it would examine the petition and decide whether this case should be taken up. If the DSI agrees to investigate the allegation, the probe will take approximately three months.