Krungthep Thanakom Co (KT), the business arm of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, insists its contracts for extended electric train services in Bangkok are legal.
KT chairman Praphanphong Vejjajiva and KT managing director Amorn Kitchawengkul yesterday reported to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to deny claims they operate the railway without the consent of the interior minister.
They met DSI expert Pol Lt Col Thawal Mangkhang.
The DSI is bringing charges against former city governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, eight other individuals and two firms including KT for making an unauthorised contract with Bangkok Transit System Co (BTSC) to operate extensions to the skytrain system.
The charges are based on the 58th Revolutionary Announcement of Jan 26, 1972, and Sections 59, 83, 84 and 86 of the Criminal Code. The executives denied all charges.
KT is the business arm of the BMA and is ordered to manage the electric train service.
On April 2, 2012, the BMA signed a contract with KT for it to manage and operate the BTSC.
On April 3, KT entered into a contract giving BTSC the right to be the sole operator of three extension routes _ On Nut-Bearing, Taksin-Wong Wian Yai, and Wong Wian Yai-Bang Wa.
The DSI says the contract was made without proper permission. The interior minister supervises the BMA.
Mr Praphanphong said the DSI mistakenly believed the contract was an extension of the BTSC's concession.
Actually, he said, KT simply hired BTSC to run the trains on the railway that it manages.
He also denied claims the BMA helped the BTSC to support the establishment of the BTS Growth Infrastructure Fund.
Mr Praphanphong said the 170,000 commuters who use the BTS service daily would be affected if the interior minister nullified the contracts.
Mr Amorn said electric train services were essential as the government's first-car buyer scheme worsened traffic congestion in Bangkok so much it was unable to deploy more buses to serve commuters.
Pol Lt Col Thawal, from the DSI, said both executives denied the charges as the other accused parties had done.
They also cited a power decentralisation law to back their actions.
The final decision on the case should rest with the court, he said.
About the author
- Writer: King-oua Laohong