Corruption Prevention: High-speed rail

Steps being taken to prevent politicians from profiting from local rail construction projects.

Chinese high speed train on the line between Beijing and Guangzhou. Passengers will travel from the Beiing to Guangzhou in just eight hours, compared with the 22 hours previously (Photo: AFP)

Click button to listen to High Speed Rail Graft Measures download

TRANSPORT

Chadchat wary of graft in rail projects

1 Mar 2013

Strict measures will be put in place to prevent corruption in the building of new high-speed railway stations, Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt says.

The House committee on transport questioned Mr Chadchat yesterday after the cabinet approved transport projects worth a combined 2 trillion baht on Wednesday.

Most of that money will be spent building high-speed rail links across the country

Mr Chadchat told the panel he would ensure the locations of high-speed railway stations, which are likely to drive up commercial property values in the areas around them, would not serve the interests of provincial politicians.

The locations will be decided in compliance with strict technical standards to prevent graft, he said.

High-speed railway stations will be placed 100km apart, the minister said.

The high-speed lines will also run parallel with existing conventional rail tracks. Conventional trains will be used to shuttle passengers to high-speed stations. 

The Rural Roads Department will also build road links to the new high-speed stations.

Mr Chadchat told the House committee that he would prevent corruption by controlling median construction prices and construction quality.

The government plans to build four high-speed railway lines, from Bangkok to the North, Northeast, East and South.

The northern route will reach Chiang Mai province.

Mr Chadchat wants the northern route to connect to southern China through Laos, but he said the Lao government had rejected the idea. Instead, Laos wants the link to pass from Nong Khai to Vientiane and then to southern China, meaning more high-speed track lines would be built inside Laos.

Mr Chadchat also assured the House committee that Thailand would have enough power reserves to supply high-speed rail operations, estimating that the trains would consume about 1% of national electricity generating capacity.

The minister said he would discuss power supply for the high-speed trains with Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal .

(Source: Bangkok Post, TRANSPORT, Chadchat wary of graft in rail projects, 1 Mar 2013, link


High Speed Rail Project Vocabulary

high speed rail -
fast trains that allow you travel between cities in a small country quickly, common in Japan, Europe and China (See Wikipedia)

wary - careful or nervous about someone or something because you think they might cause a problem ระมัดระวัง
wary of graft

graft - corruption; using political power and authority to get money illegally (take bribes) การฉ้อโกง
graft in rail projects

Chadchat wary of graft in rail projects

measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
strict measures
measures to prevent corruption

put in place

put in place strict measures
strict measures will be put in place

Strict measures will be put in place to prevent corruption in the building of new high-speed railway stations, Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt says.

transport - to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง
the House committee on transport

links - connections ความเชื่อมโยงกัน
rail links - connections between two places by train

high-speed rail links
high-speed rail links across the country
Most of that money will be spent building high-speed rail links across the country

ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
he would ensure the locations of high-speed railway stations,

commercial - for business purposes
commercial property values

interests - connections that you may benefit from,  people who gain or lose depending on how events turn out business interests
serve the interests of provincial politicians

panel - a group of people brought together to discuss, investigate, and give advice on a subject

Mr Chadchat told the panel he would ensure the locations of high-speed railway stations, which are likely to drive up commercial property values in the areas around them, would not serve the interests of provincial politicians.

technical - involving materials, processes, and machines to do specialised work; requiring special detailed knowledge (example: computers, electronics, manufacturing) เฉพาะทาง

standards - an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน a rule for behaving which should be obeyed บรรทัดฐาน, กฎเกณฑ์, กรอบ
technical standards

strict - very careful and exact เข้มงวด
strict technical standards

compliance - following a rule or law
compliance with standards
compliance with strict technical standards

The locations will be decided in compliance with strict technical standards to prevent graft, he said.

apart - separated from each other by a distance แยกจาก, แยกกัน
100km apart
stations placed 100km apart

High-speed railway stations will be placed 100km apart, the minister said.

parallel - when the distance between two lines, etc. is the same all along their length ขนาน
run parallel  
the rails tracks will run parallel

conventional - commonly used, standard way of doing something; usual; ordinary; normal ตามแบบแผน ธรรมดา
conventional rail tracks
conventional trains

shuttle 
shuttle passengers
shuttle passengers to high-speed stations

The high-speed lines will also run parallel with existing conventional rail tracks. Conventional trains will be used to shuttle passengers to high-speed stations. 

road links

The Rural Roads Department will also build road links to the new high-speed stations.

median - the middle number (used to show what is normal, average can be swayed by extreme values)
median prices
median construction prices

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
construction prices

Mr Chadchat told the House committee that he would prevent corruption by controlling median construction prices and construction quality.

route - the way that planes, buses, trains, or ships travel regularly เส้นทางของรถ เรือ เครื่องบิน,etc.
The northern route will reach Chiang Mai province.

link - to connect เชื่อม
track - a mark or line of marks showing the direction that something has moved ร่องรอย

Mr Chadchat wants the northern route to connect to southern China through Laos, but he said the Lao government had rejected the idea. Instead, Laos wants the link to pass from Nong Khai to Vientiane and then to southern China, meaning more high-speed track lines would be built inside Laos.

power - energy in the form of electricity produced in large quantities and used to operate lights, machines, and heating
reserve (verb) - to keep something for a particular purpose or time in the future
reserves (noun) - a supply kept for future use when needed
power reserves

electricity generating - making electricity (at a power plant from natural gas or coal, etc)

national - for the whole country
national electricity generating

capacity - the total amount of something that can be produced ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
national electricity generating capacity

consume - to use a supply of something ใช้จนหมดไป
the trains would consume about 1% of national electricity generating capacity

Mr Chadchat also assured the House committee that Thailand would have enough power reserves to supply high-speed rail operations, estimating that the trains would consume about 1% of national electricity generating capacity

power supply - the equipment that supplies electricity to a machine, computer, car, train, etc
The minister said he would discuss power supply for the high-speed trains with Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal .

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer