Prasert opposes Mor Chit shift

Deputy Transport Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong yesterday voiced his opposition to a request by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to relocate Mor Chit bus terminal.

The SRT wants the bus station to be moved so it can reclaim the land plot it sits on in Chatuchak district.

But Mr Prasert said the bus terminal should not be moved because it is close to other modes of mass transit, including the skytrain and subway networks.

He also said state-owned Transport Co should build a small hotel there to serve travellers from other provinces who might need accommodation upon their arrival in the capital.

He said such a development would raise income for the state-owned bus agency, but it must first secure a long-term land lease with the SRT.

Mr Prasert plans to convince the SRT to lease the 74-rai land plot for 30 years per contract, instead of the current three-year term.

However, SRT governor Prapat Chongsanguan has rejected the idea.

He said yesterday the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning planned to further develop mass transit networks in the area, which would eventually result in it taking over Hua Lamphong train station as the city's railway terminus.

As a result, the SRT has drawn up a development plan for the land plot occupied by the Mor Chit bus station, he said.

Mr Prapat insisted that Transport Co would eventually have to move the bus terminal and return the land plot to the SRT.

He said he would explain the matter to Mr Prasert.

Mr Prapat also rejected a plan put forward by Transport Co to rent a 10-rai land plot near Mor Chit to expand its bus services.

He said the SRT had no unoccupied plots in the area.

A Transport Ministry source said Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt had assigned Soithip Trisuddhi, deputy permanent secretary for transport who supervises the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, to lead discussions on the Mor Chit bus terminal issue.

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Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
Position: Reporter