PM Srettha reassures public on Land Bridge megaproject amid concerns

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin voiced his administration’s commitment to addressing the concerns of groups opposing the Land Bridge megaproject. Today, PM Srettha is visiting the proposed construction site in Ranong, where a mobile cabinet meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.

The 61 year old Thai prime minister acknowledged the government’s shortcomings in effectively communicating the project’s economic advantages to international investors. He also recognised the administration’s failure to build trust among Thai citizens who are anxious about the possible negative impacts of the 1-trillion-baht construction on their communities.

The purpose of this visit is to reassure the local inhabitants that they are indeed a crucial part of this project, the Bangkok-born Srettha stated before departing Chiang Mai for Bangkok.

His comments come in response to escalating demands from critics for the government to address their issues regarding the Land Bridge project, an initiative aimed at establishing a logistics network between Ranong and Chumphon.

The project includes the construction of deep-water ports in both provinces, a motorway traversing the land to connect the two regions, and a railway system.

Today, PM Srettha will visit Laem Son National Park in Ranong’s Kapoe district, which has been identified as a connection point between the two seaports, one on the Gulf of Thailand side and the other on the Andaman Sea.

Land Bridge Project

The Thai PM stated that although the government believes that the land bridge project will yield significant benefits for the country and its people, it is still critical to enhance communication with all groups, both supporters and opponents of the project.

The Rak Photo Network, a conservationist group opposing the land bridge project, plans to meet the prime minister during his visit.

The group has formally requested a meeting with the prime minister through the governor of Chumphon, according to a statement signed by Somchok Chungchaturan, a core member of the group.

The network yesterday led a media tour of the seaside site in Ranong where one of the deep-sea ports is planned to be built. A forum was also held to allow locals and activists to express their views on the project.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a list MP for the United Thai Nation Party, reiterated PM Srettha’s commitment to listening to all viewpoints.

“As officials are still drafting a report for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the government has the time to act on the input from more people and groups.

“The government is striving to consider this project from various angles, not just in terms of building deep-sea ports in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea.”

In other news, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara will lead a meeting of the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee today to discuss new development projects proposed for six southern provinces: Krabi, Trang, Phangnga, Phuket, Ranong, and Satun.

These projects currently have a combined investment value of over 750 million baht, according to a source. Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, revealed that the province is likely to propose two of the six new developments, 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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