Democrat Party asks why MRT Orange Line has come to juddering halt
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Democrat Party deputy leader Samart Ratchapolsitte questioned why each section of the MRT Orange Line had different bidding criteria and urged the authorities to open the line as soon as possible.
He also asked why the bidding criteria for the western section had been changed suddenly, bringing the construction of the line to a shuddering stop.
The eastern section of the 22.5-kilometre line runs from Thailand Cultural Central to Minburi. Samart said bidding for this line started in 2016 and the first round was to find bidders who met at least 70 per cent of the technical requirements and proposed the lowest price. This line is almost 80 per cent complete.
Meanwhile, bidding for the 13.4km line running from Bang Khun Non in the West of Bangkok to the Thailand Cultural Centre was set for 2020. The initial criteria for bidders was that they must meet at least 85 per cent of the technical requirements because this route includes an underground tunnel below the Rattanakosin island.
However, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) changed the criteria just before the bidding deadline to 30 per cent technical and 70 per cent financial requirements.
The MRTA did not explain why it had cut down technical requirements even though this section requires a great deal of expertise and experience.
Bidding for this section had to be stopped after the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) filed a lawsuit against MRTA for changing the criteria.