The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will meet Charoen Pokphand (CP) on Friday to discuss the handing over of 8,000 rai (1,280 hectares) of land earmarked for developing the 220-kilometre high-speed train system connecting Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-tapao airports.
SRT acting governor Worawut Mala said details of the project will be discussed between SRT’s working committee and CP Holding and its partners, and the conclusion of Friday’s meeting will be attached to the contract.
“We are confident the contract will be signed within July, and if a conclusion cannot be achieved at Friday’s meeting, then we still have time to hold another discussion next week. If CP agrees with SRT’s plan for the handing over of land, we will hold another meeting to discuss further details and redo the contract before it is signed. Cabinet approval will not be required for this conclusion, because the project has already been approved,” he said.
As for whether the land earmarked for the construction is ready for takeover, Worawut said SRT will hand over 8,000 of the 10,000 rai required after the contract is signed. The remaining 20 per cent of the land cannot be handed over immediately because it is facing encroachment issues.
SRT recently earmarked Bt200 million to be used for evicting people living in the area – a job it previously thought would take two to three years to complete. SRT officials are currently surveying the actual demands of the land squatters.
Sujit Chaosirikul, SRT’s deputy governor, said two key topics will be discussed on Friday, namely the plan for handing over the 10,000 rai and details on a benchmark indicating when the high-speed trains will be in service.
“The project has made a lot of progress, and if a conclusion can be made on these two topics, SRT will be able to set a date for the signing of the contract. We expect the contract to be signed within July for sure,” he said.