Meeting soon to end Green Line dispute

Meeting soon to end Green Line dispute

The board of Krungthep Thanakom Co, a state enterprise under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), is to meet on Thursday to solve the conflict over the operation of the Green Line, according to its chairman Tongthong Chandransu.

The former PM's Office permanent secretary was appointed by city governor Chadchart Sittipunt to solve problems associated with Green Line concessions, which involve multiple private companies, such as the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc.

Mr Tongthong on Monday said he has to study the Green Line agreement thoroughly before discussing the matter with the board in the upcoming meeting.

He is expected to provide input to Mr Chadchart over the issue.

There are close to a thousand pages of documents to study before the meeting, he said.

"Mr Chadchart has right from the beginning made it clear that he wants to have a sound guideline or clear information [to make a clear decision on the Green Line concessions]," he said.

Mr Tongthong said he could not disclose whether fares along Bangkok's main electric rail system will be lowered as requested by several sides.

Neither has he aimed to implement a specific decision about the concessions, he said.

Mr Chadchart previously said Mr Tongthong is sacrificing his time for the mission, noting that he strongly believes Mr Tongthong will complete his tasks at Krungthep Thanakom.

Mr Chadchart said he has given Mr Tongthong as much time as he needs to solve the matter without interfering in the job.

"I want Krungthep Thanakom to be efficient and accountable and I believe Mr Tongthong can do that," the governor said.

In other news, Sen Suradet Chiratthiticharoen, who is a member of a Senate committee on transportation, said the panel is due to meet today to review the results of a study on what the government should do with Green Line's concessions.

Advantages and disadvantages of the government either proceeding with granting a 30-year renewal of concessions to the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, the current operator of Green Line services, or waiting until the current concessions expire in 2029 before invoking the public-private joint venture law to find a new concessionaire, Mr Suradet said.

Both matters will be discussed at the meeting, Mr Suradet said, noting that findings will be next forwarded to the government for consideration.

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