SRT's Makkasan area set for commercial development, park

SRT's Makkasan area set for commercial development, park

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) debt will be largely cleared with the lease of its prime land plot in Makkasan. The area is to be developed commercially and as a park of up to 200 rai.

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An overview of some of the prime undeveloped land in Makkasan owned by the State Railway of Thailand in central Bangkok which will be leased by the Finance Ministry. PATIPAT JANTHONG

SRT ordered to lease Makkasan land

Amornrat Mahitthirook

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has been ordered to lease one of its prime Bangkok land plots to the Finance Ministry in an attempt to help the agency clear its debt burden.

The agreement was reached in talks on Thursday between the Transport and Finance ministries with details to be completed by early June, Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said.

"The Finance Ministry will calculate the rental fees and period in exchange for its management. This plan will end the [SRT's] debt. But the land will remain under the SRT," he said.

The decision followed an order by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to seek means to resolve the SRT's 85 billion baht in accumulated debt and to provide more green areas for the capital.

ACM Prajin said the final decision on the detailed plan will rest with Gen Prayut.

The Makkasan area owned by the SRT covers 745 rai and includes a large swamp of 113 rai. It is regarded as one of the most significant prime land plots in the centre of Bangkok. It covers the Makkasan station for the Airport Rail Link, an SRT hospital, residential quarters for staff and the head office of the maintenance unit.

ACM Prajin made clear to the Finance Ministry that not all of the land will be used for commercial purposes as part of it must be set aside for a new park which will include a museum, exercise area and a bicycle lane.

SRT board chairman Omsin Cheewaphruek said the new park could be as big as 200 rai.

The SRT plans to move its maintenance headquarters to Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi after the Finance Ministry steps in, according to the minister.

The maintenance centre in Kaeng Khoi will service old and new trains that come with the wider 1.435 metre gauge.

Mr Omsin said the hospital will be relocated to Bang Sue and a new housing area for SRT officials will be built in other locations.

Permanent secretary for transport Soithip Traisuth welcomed the decision as it is in line with the railway agency's playing a part in creating more green areas in Bangkok.

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Vocabulary

  • accumulate: to get more and more of something over a period of time - เก็บสะสม, สะสม, สั่งสมมานาน
  • board: a group of people who have the responsibility of managing important business or government activities - คณะกรรมการ
  • burden: a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ
  • calculate: to discover a number or amount using  mathematics - คำนวน
  • capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง
  • chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน
  • commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า
  • debt (noun): an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน
  • details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด
  • fee: an amount of money that you pay to be allowed to do something - ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าตอบแทน, ค่าบริการ
  • Finance Ministry (noun): the ministry in charge of managing the country's money - กระทรวงการคลัง
  • gauge: the distance between the rails of a railway/railroad track or the wheels of a train -
  • headquarters: the place where an organisation or company has its main offices - สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
  • in exchange for: giving something to someone and receiving something else from them of a similar type or value - แลกเปลี่ยน
  • in line with: following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with - สอดคล้องกับ
  • lease (verb): to make a legal agreement which allows someone to pay you money in order to use a building, piece of land, vehicle, etc. for a period of time - ให้เช่า
  • lease: to make a legal agreement in which you pay money in order to use a building, piece of land, vehicle, etc. for a period of time - เช่า
  • location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
  • maintenance: the act of keeping something in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly - การซ่อมบำรุง
  • management: the act or skill of dealing with people or situations in a successful way - การจัดการ
  • means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ
  • museum: a building where objects of historical, scientific or artistic interest are kept - พิพิธภัณฑ์
  • order (noun): something that somebody is told to do by somebody in authority - คำสั่ง
  • overview: a description or picture of the main features of something - การดูคร่าวๆ, การอธิบายคร่าวๆ
  • period: a particular length of time - ระยะเวลา
  • permanent secretary: a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง
  • plot (noun): a piece of land used for a particular purpose - ที่ดิน, ที่ดินแปลงเล็ก
  • prime: of the best quality - ที่ดีที่สุด
  • provide: to cause something to exist or be available - ให้
  • quarters: rooms that are provided for people (monks, soldiers, workers, servants, etc.) to live in - ที่พักอาศัย
  • rai (noun): a unit for measuring land, equal to 2/5 of an acre or 1,600 square metres - ไร่ (2/5 เอเคอร์) (1600 ตารางเมตร)
  • rail link (noun): a train system connecting one place with another - รถไฟฟ้าเชื่อม
  • regarded as: considered to be - ถือว่า
  • relocate: to move something to a new place - ย้ายที่ใหม่
  • rental: the act of renting something or an arrangement to rent something - การเช่า
  • residential: of a place where people live -
  • resolve: to solve a problem, or to find a satisfactory way of dealing with it - แก้ไขปัญหา
  • set aside: to keep or save something from a larger amount or supply in order to use it later for a particular purpose - สำรอง
  • significant: important - สำคัญ
  • staff: workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group - คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • swamp: an area of land covered by water where trees and plants grow - หนองน้ำ
  • Transport Minister (noun): The government minister who heads the Ministry of Transport - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงคมนาคม
  • unit: a part of a company or organisation that carries out a particular function; a group of people who work or live together, especially for a particular purpose - หน่วย,กอง,กลุ่ม
  • welcome: to be pleased to receive or accept something - รับด้วยความยินดี

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