Yesterday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra travelled to Transport Ministry to assign relevant agencies to carry out a number of flood-related policies.
Ms. Yingluck instructed that all parties should collaborate with one another in the same direction for the benefit of the nation and its people. The meeting was attended by Transport Minister Sukampon Suwannathat, Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke, the ministry’s board of director and various other relevant agencies.
On the occasion, the prime minister expressed appreciation for the Transport Ministry for having worked tirelessly for the people during the crisis. Granted that the budgets have been approved at present, PM Yingluck asked that the ministry accelerate the restoration process and its various dissemination tasks, whether it be the restoration of basic infrastructure, main highways, transportation routes, canal dredging, etc. In addition, local economy can simultaneously be stimulated if local labour is involved within the process, said Ms. Yingluck.
Having said that, the prime minister uttered that the procurement process in various projects be done with fairness and transparency. By the same token, the ministry was instructed to make sure the justice exist to all within the Chatuchuk Weekend Market, and contracts are to be renewed with previous businesses first so to effectively facilitate the transformation.
After PM Yingluck’s visit at the ministry, the Transport Minister proclaimed that the Prime Minister provided guidance related to policy, infrastructure, the development of the rail system and the management of goods and services. PM Yingluck also reiterated the reduction of transport costs in both regulated rates, transportation and travel services to be in line with various geographical conditions and benefitiaries such as from freight or fares. In any case, these procedures need to be in line with the neighboring countries so to increase the competitive edge and be equipped for ASEAN community in 2015.
Moreover, the prime minister pressed forward the BTS project of ten additional routes within Bangkok and its circumference to be completed in four years’ time as previously declared in the parliament. The fare will be readjusted to 20 baht for all stops in 2015 with single tickets expected in 2014. Meanwhile, the prime minister said that the transport interconnection network, product transportation management, as well as convenient and safe services must be in place.
As for the high-speed train routes, namely Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Nakorn Rachasima, Bangkok- Huahin, in an attempt to connect to neighbouring countries, Transport Ministry has embarked on the project alongside the Airport Rail Link and other ten new BTS routes. In the meantime, the prime minister emphasised on the importance of connecting land to water transportation in order to efficiently serve the public. As for NGV-fuelled public transports, the prime minister has assigned the Office of the National Economic and Social Development to research further on the value of the project before presenting during the next meeting.
In addition, PM Yingluck gave guidance regarding the involvement of the State Railway of Thailand in the management of Chatuchak Market and reiterated that priority must be given to all previous businesses that were in place.
Lastly, the Transport Minister affirmed it has come up with clear plans for all the models pertaining to infrastructure and policy development to mass transit rail system, as well as management and transportation of goods and services, which the government had previousy announced in the parliament. He also ensured that all plans are expected to be completed as planned or faster than those specified deadlines.
Dredging Today Staff, January 12, 2012;