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PM woos private sector to build high-speed trains

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PM woos private sector to build high-speed trains | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PM woos private sector to build high-speed trains
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited the private sector to build short-distance, high-speed trains to attractive sites near Bangkok in order to facilitate tourism.

The government will provide support in terms of acquiring land for construction along with tax and non-tax incentives, similar to the Japanese public and private partnership model. Germany is believed to have shown an interest in investing, he said.

The possible rail routes being considered for this high-speed train project are Bangkok-Pattaya and Bangkok-Hua Hin.

The cost, the conditions, funding and construction plans, along with possible incentives could be proposed by the private sector and the government would be willing to talk to anyone about the matter, he said.

“The Board of Investment [BoI] has discussed today about possible investment in high-speed trains to support the tourism industry,” PM Prayut said.

The investment will be in the nature of a public and private partnership as there are many well-funded companies that can afford such an investment and the government can provide land for this venture,” the prime minister said, after presiding over the BoI’s first meeting of the year. “A similar project in Japan for a 700-kilometre high-speed railway costs around Bt400 billion,” he said.

He said the government would provide land already owned by the State Railway of Thailand for such an investment. However, the construction of a high-speed line, which would require a relatively straight route, might require the government to expropriate land and provide compensation to people who might be affected in the process.

‘Not part of seven-year plan’

Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukavanich clarified that the new idea for a high-speed railway is not part of the government’s seven-year plan to build infrastructure worth 3 trillion baht. He said “the government would find it hard to try and fund it on its own”, explaining that as the reason why the idea was being floated, to see if it draws a response from the private sector.

“The speed for this new high-speed train idea would be similar to the speed of the [Japanese] Shinkansen, which requires a straight railway line to operate on. This would mean that the construction might require expropriation of land and the estimated cost of 400 billion baht is not expensive.

“But the amount the government is expected to spend on investment in railways such as double tracks and standard gauges is already high, so this project is open for private sector participation,” he said.

He added that Germany’s ambassador to Thailand had revealed to him this week that Siemens AG had expressed an interest in the project, as they have extensive expertise in building high-speed railways. The most likely route that was being discussed was Bangkok to Hua Hin via Phetchaburi province.

He believes the Bangkok-Pattaya route would be more feasible, as it would pass through Sri Racha district and Laem Chabang Port before Pattaya and could be extended to Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in the future.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Pattaya

The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya

The Thaiger

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The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya | The Thaiger

A fisherman has recovered a body, thought to be a foreigner, from the Gulf of Thailand off Sattahip.

Na Jomtien Police were notified of the body by 24 year old Teerapong Boonwat, a fishing boat captain plying the waters around Sattahip, south of Pattaya.

Mr. Boonwat had recovered the body found floating near Koh Ped (Duck Island), about three nautical miles from the Sattahip shore. Police and emergency responders rushed to the scene near Amparam Temple.

Police report that the male body appears to be a foreigner aged around 40 years old with a beard and little head hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, long jeans and black sneakers.

No identification was found on the man. It is believed that he had died at least 7 days before his body was found floating in the water. The police didn’t state if there was any signs of foul play or the condition of the body.

Police are investigating the incident and reviewing missing person reports to establish identification.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Pattaya

Pattaya City’s Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Pattaya City’s Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

The Pattaya City Police Chief Col. Atinan Nuchanart has died from a heart attack yesterday morning (Friday) while he was on the way to a meeting. 59 year old Col Atinan was the Pattaya City Police Acting Chief, new in the position, and died at the Chonburi Hospital from a heart attack.

Yesterday morning he and his team were heading to Bangkok from Chonburi for a meeting when he started complaining of chest pains before falling unconscious in the car. The Chief was rushed to the Chonburi Hospital by other officers in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead by doctors at 2pm.

Col Atinan was born in Lopburi and was the previous Police Chief of Mueang Chonburi Police Station. He was later transferred as the Pattaya City Police Acting Chief on September 2. He had only been in the top job for little over a month.

The previous Pattaya police Chief was removed from the position pending an investigation into large drug raids at local discos open after legal closing hours during this year.

A full funeral for the well respected veteran officer will take place in the near future but has not been announced at this time.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Pattaya City's Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion

The Thaiger

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Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Recent heavy rains over the past week in Pattaya have caused significant deep erosion and gaping holes on Pattaya Beach that have now been sitting in plain view for nearly a week. The situation is an unsightly embarrassment and a potential hazard for tourists, according to local residents and beach vendors.

The Pattaya News reports that, earlier this week, storm waters were flowing onto Pattaya beach into the Gulf after torrential rains, notably at the beach area near Central Festival Pattaya, and have been washed away.

The erosion is at least a metre deep in places, exposing some of the underpinning sand-bag foundations that were placed there doing the re-instatement works last year. Local vendors are complaining that tourists were avoiding the beach.

Beach vendors say this erosion has happened nearly a week ago and is very dangerous especially at night time. They are asking for city officials to speed up repair work and fix the problem.

Earlier this week residents were complaining about an unknown white sediment floating around some of the areas where the erosion had occurred. Last year some 400 million baht was spent re-building some of Pattaya’s beaches which end up damaged and washed out to sea any time there are heavy rains.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | News by The Thaiger Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | News by The Thaiger

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