Somkid sets cut-off to develop rail land
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has demanded the Transport Ministry finish drawing up plans to commercially develop areas around four railway projects within one month.
The four projects consist of the three high-speed railway schemes -- from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, from Bangkok to Rayong and from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin -- and a southern rail corridor, which involves the Kanchanaburi-Bangkok-Sa Kaeo Aranyaprathet section and the Bangkok-Chon Buri Laem Chabang section.
The commercial development of land along the rail lines is a policy undertaken by the prime minister, he said.
"Within next week, I will follow up on the development of the plans. Within one month, the plans involving the four projects must be completed to be presented to the premier," said Mr Somkid, adding the plans would give private companies some ideas to make an investment decision.
According to Mr Somkid, who is responsible for economic affairs, the plans must provide details on how to commercially develop the areas inside and around the train stations as well as the cities involved.
The plans must pinpoint stations or areas which are suitable for development, he said.
The roughly designated areas will be laid out to draw private companies, both local and foreign investors, to join the bidding, he added.
The deputy premier said the relevant agencies, including city planning officials, were invited to discuss the plans in the meeting yesterday. He said the city planning authorities will define areas which can be used for development.
Mr Somkid said he also asked the Transport Ministry to expedite commercial development plans for areas in the Phahon Yothin transport centre, which is expected to be a rail transit system hub in the future.
Speaking about the government's move to amend land expropriation laws, he said the Transport Ministry and relevant agencies are discussing the issue with legal experts.
He said according to current laws, using the reclaimed land for commercial development is unlawful and efforts must be made to fine-tune them.