Govt to speed up NGV buses plan
- Published: 13/02/2013 at 03:37 PM
- Online news:
The Ministry of Transport would table a plan for the purchase of a public bus fleet fuelled by compressed natural gas for Bangkok to the cabinet for consideration in the next week or two, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on Wednesday.
Mr Kittiratt was speaking after meeting with 20 representatives of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority’s labour union, led by union chairman Saman Boonngok, at Government House today.
It was jointly agreed by the Transport and Finance ministries and the State Enterprise Policy Committee last week that a total of 3,183 NGV buses would be purchased at a cost of 13.16 billion baht, he said.
Mr Kittiratt, deputy prime minister for economic matters, said the government intends to take delivery of the new buses this year if possible.
After getting approval from the cabinet, the Ministry of Transport would gradually buy the buses lot by lot. The ministry would look to make the purchases through government-to-government agreements to avoid possible corruption.
Bus manufacturers in all countries would be allowed to tender for the project, he added.
Mr Saman said the union sought today's meeting for a progress report on the government’s plan to purchase NGV buses.
He said BMTA employees were working under great pressure because more than 1,000 NGV buses of the BMTA fleet were out of order and parked at repair centres.
Many of the buses still running had been in use for more than 17 years.
The union’s secretary-general Veerapong Wongwaen said he had submitted a petition to Mr Kittiratt asking him to hurry the proposal for the NGV bus purchase to the cabinet for consideration.
The government should speed up this project because a large percentage of the existing public bus fleet was not in a position to provide services for passengers, he added.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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