Cabinet okays Bt10bn to expropriate land for Khon Kaen-Nakhon Phanom railway


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The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft law for expropriation of land to build the 336-kilometre Northeast railway between Khon Kaen and Nakhon Phanom. The plan hands the State Railway of Thailand a budget of Bt10 billion to requisition land along the route linking Ban Phai in Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom. 
The Cabinet has approved a total budget of Bt66.84 billion for the project, which includes expropriation expenses.
Residents whose homes are expropriated will be compensated with affordable rental housing at an eight-storey project of 360 units on Kamphaeng Phet 6 Road in Don Mueang District, Bangkok. Construction of the project is due to begin in April next year for scheduled opening in October 2022. 
The SRT will negotiate compensation payments for households who do not take up the affordable housing option.
Separately, the Cabinet heard performance results from the SRT and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) bus agency for fiscal year 2019 and the first half of 2020. The SRT reported a loss of Bt2.893 billion in 2019 and Bt1.494 billion in the first half of 2020. The BMTA reported losses of Bt2.255 billion and Bt996 million, respectively, for the two periods.