IN ANSWERING an interpellation on the extension of the Bangkok Mass Transit System’s Green Line train concession in Parliament today (May 26) Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda said the decision on this issue rests with the new Bangkok governor and city council, TV Channel 7 and Matichon newspaper said.
Mr. Prademchai Boonchuayluea, Pheu Thai Party MP for Bangkok, asked whether the 30-year concession, which will generate 400 billion baht, had been renewed while also mentioning that he was not certain whether Bangkok residents had been taken advantage of or not.
Gen. Anupong replied that the new Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittiphan and city council have the authority to make all the decisions related to this issue with the Interior Ministry not involved.
He added the Cabinet Secretariat had already sent a notice asking the Bangkok City Hall how they are proceeding with this issue and upon getting a reply will forward it to the Cabinet for approval.
He confirmed that the concession had not been renewed for another 30 years from 2029 to 2059. However BTS has been hired to run the line for another 13 years because there is no private company to do so without collecting fares.
“First of all, there hasn’t been any renewal of any concession at all. The Cabinet is considering whether the price is still high. Whether there is a resolution or not depends on negotiations with everything being done in the interest of the people, transparently and according to the law.
“Should ask the new Bangkok authorities who will have all the information and set the guidelines. I cannot participate in it.
“If they say it can be done we will raise the matter to the Cabinet and everything is over. Whether it will be 65 baht throughout the line or the concession being renewed is for Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to decide,” he said.
Bangkok’s key Green Line train route. Photos: Matichon
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