Bangkok’s Green Line railway debt passed onto incoming government

Image courtesy of Khaosod English

Citing a Government House authority, it was disclosed yesterday that the existing Thai Cabinet has chosen to pass the responsibility of resolving the debt affiliated with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) contract with Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) onto the incoming government. The obligation arose from assigning BTSC to oversee the operations of the Green Line extension.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told the cabinet the debt BMA must settle with BTS Group Holdings. This is due to the commissioning of BTSC to oversee the operations for the extension of the Green Line and its worth is estimated to be around 78 billion baht.

The Cabinet recognised the unresolved debt and agreed to transfer it to the succeeding government for resolution, acknowledging that it was beyond the reach of the interim government to rectify.

BMA, in light of this development, eagerly anticipates government intervention to resolve the debt situation. Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt relayed that the BMA had sent a letter to the Interior Ministry pleading for the government’s assistance in untangling the issues concerning the Green Line extension.

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The BMA, Sittipunt further explained, had pleaded with the government to shoulder the costs accrued from establishing the Green Line’s infrastructure along with the expenses attributed to the electrical and mechanical (E&M) installation work. The worth of these expenses is approximately 20 billion baht. He added that the BMA was incapable of managing these costs independently.

Sittipunt claimed that BMA was mentally and financially prepared to handle the E&M installation debt but insisted that this decision had to receive approval from the BMA council first.

Currently, BMA and its commercial branch, Krungthep Thanakhom (KT), owe 30 billion baht to the BTSC. This debt is for standing operational and maintenance responsibilities for the first and second extensions of the Green Line which include the On Nut-Bearing and Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa sections as well as the Bearing-Samut Prakan and Mo Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot sections, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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