The State Railway of Thailand will provide additional land to the builder of the high-speed rail system linking three airports by October, in a bid to speed up construction of this key transport infrastructure in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
"Authorities are in the process of removing oil and gas pipelines in areas between the Phaya Thai and Bang Sue areas of Bangkok," said Chula Sukmanop, secretary-general of the EEC Office.
The State Railway of Thailand earlier provided the contractor with land stretching from Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan to U-tapao airport in Rayong.
The 224-billion-baht high-speed train system covers a distance of 220 kilometres, divided into three sections.
There is a 21-kilometre section from Don Mueang airport in northern Bangkok to Phaya Thai, a 29km section from Phaya Thai to Suvarnabhumi airport, and a 170km section from Suvarnabhumi airport to U-tapao airport.
The train is designed to run at 250 kilometres per hour.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024, but it is likely to be delayed until 2027 partly because the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium, which was awarded the contract, wants the government to revise some conditions in the contract, following the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the project.
Mr Chula said the EEC Office is in talks with the contractor to jointly deal with their concerns in relation to the ongoing conflict, along with the impact of the pandemic, which dealt a blow to the business sector.
"We are discussing with the consortium and expect the problem to be solved; then, we will forward a proposal to a new cabinet," he said.
The construction of the high-speed rail system earlier faced delays in giving some areas to the builder as authorities needed to deal with a land appropriation issue and the removal of electricity poles and tap water pipelines along the rail route.
The EEC area, which covers parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao, will host 12 targeted S-curve industries, including new-generation car production and smart electronics.
The government is keen to turn the EEC into a high-tech industrial hub.