SRT on right track to lead Thailand’s green recovery

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is on the right track after announcing plans to build a hospital and develop land around Thon Buri Railway Station into an environmentally friendly zone, to lead the way in Thailand’s green recovery.

The transit-oriented development (TOD) project is the first of its kind in the country, designed to bring people, human activities, residential buildings and public space within walking distance of public transport, reported Bangkok Post.

The company will call bids for the project, which is set to be divided into several phases over about 20 years. The winning bidder for the 14-rai development project could put up a condo or apartments with no more than 13 storeys, as stipulated by city ordinance.

Trithip Sivakriskul, a member of the board of directors and acting CEO of SRT Asset Co, said…

“Shopping malls and retail outlets will also be built on the plot. The contractor also will be required to build new accommodation for the 300 SRT staff and their families on a three-rai plot to replace their old living quarters [which will be cleared to make way for the project].”

The environmentally friendly green project has been in planning for some time, with the company signing a memorandum of understanding with the Faculty of Medicine of Mahidol University at Siriraj Hospital in February to carry out a study on a master plan for the development around Thon Buri Railway Station.

SRT on right track to lead Thailand's green recovery | News by Thaiger
Picture and graphic courtesy of Bangkok Post.

A working panel made up of various agencies will draw up the green master plan, which aims to establish connectivity and linkages between road networks, walkways and areas around the project, electric railway stations and public transport systems. The concept of clean energy will be promoted to create a green society and environment.

The project will have a major focus on creating a green environment and promoting clean energy, to turn the 148 rai into a major regional medical district set in a green environment.

Dr Apichat Asavamongkolkul, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Mahidol University at Siriraj Hospital, hailed the project, saying it would benefit the public.

“While traffic congestion is heavy in the area, efficient management should help ease the traffic problem. For example, commuters may be encouraged to leave their cars at home and use shuttle buses to access the area.”

The hospital has around 17,000 staff and has to handle about 10,000 patients daily, not including relatives. On top of that, about 5,000 students study there.

Dr Apichat said the hospital is expected to start talks on a joint investment after the study is completed.

“When a format for development is determined, we expect they will invite us for talks on what area we want to co-invest in or rent from them. We will need a new hospital building to take more patients as the hospital is very crowded.”

Some SRT staff have raised concerns about where they will stay during construction. Natthawut Puanglamchiake, a 45 year old SRT employee said…

“I’m not against progress. But they should think about this. Have they arranged a place for us to stay yet? Will they help pay the rent if we have to stay somewhere temporarily? Our children study here. I also work at a factory in the area. They should consider these.”

The project on the surface appears to be a major step forward for Thailand’s green recovery, showing a commitment to sustainability and the environment. But as residents in Thailand know only too well, nothing runs smoothly in the kingdom.

A project to bury Bangkok’s eye-sore cables started in 1984. It has yet to be completed.

SRT on right track to lead Thailand's green recovery | News by Thaiger

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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