THE FOUR dual-track railway projects covering 535 kilometres with a total investment of Bt85.05 billion should be up for Cabinet approval in May, the transport minister said yesterday.
“Bidding on the four projects is scheduled to be launched between June and September before construction can commence in October,” Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.
First of the four lines is the 132km Map Kabao-Jira route, which will cost Bt29.67 billion. The project, being considered by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), should be added to the Cabinet agenda in the second week of May. The targeted completion date is 2020.
The second project, the 165km Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin route costing Bt20.15 billion, should be ready by 2019, while the third is the 90km Hua Hin-Muang Prachuap Khiri Khan line worth Bt10.30 billion.
The last two projects have not yet undergone environment impact assessments (EIAs).
“However, the government can use Article 44 of the interim charter to go ahead with the bidding process to allow participation of private firms,” Arkhom said.
The fourth project, the 148km Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho route requiring Bt24.94 billion of investment, has not passed the EIA review process. The project is scheduled for completion in 2020
The four projects, which feature a 1-metre gauge, are among seven projects covering 993km worth a total of Bt136.93 billion. Two of the projects under construction – the Kaeng Khoi-Chachoengsao and Jira-Khon Kaen routes covering 291km and a total investment of Bt34.63 billion – should be completed in 2019.