MRTA ends costs probe

Construction News

A panel set up by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) has concluded that there was nothing illegal about paying additional construction costs of 290 million baht for an extension of its Blue Line electric rail route.

The investigation was started after the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) recently sent the MRTA an urgent letter opposing the decision to pay an additional 290 million baht to the contractor, Ch Karnchang Plc.

The MRTA claimed it needed to pay more because Ch Karnchang had to change its construction practices for the Blue Line’s extension from Sanam Chai to Tha Phra.

The additional costs were caused by a change in the properties of the soil from when the contractor won the contract to when it actually started construction.

The findings were sent to the MRTA’s board yesterday for acknowledgement.

MRTA board chairman Yodyuth Boonyatikarn said the board approves of the findings, insisting the contract change was in line with legal procedures and it did not favour the contractor.

The MRTA’s board will consider the investigation results in detail next Friday before informing the Transport Ministry and the OAG, Gen Yodyuth said.

The findings will likely lead the MRTA to hire Phirayuth Singpattanakul as its new governor this month, the board chairman said.

Mr Phirayuth is currently the deputy governor and he was facing a disciplinary probe over the additional costs for the Blue Line contractor.