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Bangkok’s controversial Bang Sue Grand Station name change on hold

Bangkok’s controversial Bang Sue Grand Station name change is on hold after it received heavy backlash for its US$1 million price tag. When His Majesty the King renamed Bang Sue Grand Station, “Krung Thep Abhiwat Central Terminal,” in September, some questioned the need to spend such an amount in taxpayers’ money.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob ordered an investigation into the budget of 33 million baht for the railway station’s name change last week. Now, the State Railway of Thailand is postponing the move until further notice.

According to Thai PBS World, the company of UNIQ was given the money to change the nameplate with work scheduled to start on Tuesday, January 3. But, as criticism mounted, it was stalled.

The investigatory panel met yesterday and tasked the SRT representatives with explaining the project and answering panel members’ questions. Deputy Transport Permanent Secretary-General Sorapong Paitoonphong, says the committee asked the SRT to provide details on a number of specific issues. Some of those issues include the project’s origin, the terms of reference, minutes of the meetings of the median price committee, the median price, details of the project’s approval, details of the project’s procurement, and details of the contract between the SRT and UNIQ.

The meeting yesterday was reportedly inconclusive with officials meeting again today via teleconference. The investigative team has until January 19 to prepare its findings and report back to the Ministry.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.