Bangkok Post – City council approves B23.4bn for Green Line

Bangkok governor ‘relieved’ by passage of budget to help resolve longstanding debt issues

The Bangkok Metropolitan Council has approved a budget of up to 23.4 billion baht for payment to Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) for building and operating the second Green Line extension.

The draft ordinance received 43 votes in favour, with one abstention, at a meeting that was also attended by Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executives and other state officials.

The budget would allow the BMA to receive the assets of the extension line and to settle the long-overdue costs for electrical and mechanical work and operations borne by BTSC, said Napapon Chirakul, a councillor for Bangkok Noi district and chairman of the committee reviewing the draft.

The Green Line’s second extension is linked to the Pink Line monorail at Wat Phra Si Mahathat station and the Yellow Line monorail at Samrong station. The BMA began charging passengers on the extension a flat fare of 15 baht per trip last month.

The panel urged the BMA to speed up budget expenditure for the E&M work so that it can turn its attention to planning the funding for other projects.

“The panel has reviewed the draft ordinance by adhering to related laws for the sake of transparency and for the full benefit of all,” said Mr Napapon.

Mr Chadchart said the BMA’s Traffic and Transport Department would hold talks on Thursday with KT Corporation and BTSC to flesh out details of the 23.4 billion baht in spending.

“I feel relieved that the councillors approved it,” said the governor. “KT will try to negotiate with BTSC and bargain down the payment.”

The BMA and its business arm Krungthep Thanakhom (KT) owe about 30 billion baht to BTSC for providing operation and maintenance services on the Green Line.

SOURCE: Bangkokpost.com : Thailand   (go to source)
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