BANGKOK Mass Transit System Plc (BTS) today (Nov. 19) denied ever threatening to stop running the green line and its extensions in the northern and southern part of the route over accumulated 8 billion baht operation fee which Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) does not have the funds to pay, Amarin TV reported this afternoon.
Mr. Surapong Laoha-Unya, BTS’s chief executive officer, said a recent company’s executive committee meeting, attended by Mr. Keeree Karnjanapas, chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, decided to clarify that the train operator will take care of all its passengers and has never threatened to halt the green line and the new extensions.
In fact the company is still waiting for BMA to either pay up or extend the concession with future income helping clear the debt.
Last Tuesday Nov. 17 Cabinet discussed the extension of the green line for another 30 years from the current expiry date in 2029 to 2059. If this is allowed BTS will be responsible for debt and interest totalling 100 billion baht with this including the 8 billion baht currently owed.
However the Cabinet has not approved this concession extension and has told the Interior Ministry to check the details of the proposal.
Top: Passengers at a busy BTS station. Thai headline says, “never threatened to stop operating.” Photo: Amarin TV