Gold Line monorail gets cabinet green light

Gold Line monorail gets cabinet green light

A BTS train leaves Chong Non Si station. (Photo by Somporn Thapanachai)
A BTS train leaves Chong Non Si station. (Photo by Somporn Thapanachai)

The cabinet gave the greenlight yesterday to the 2.68-kilometre Gold Line monorail system that will link Krung Thon Buri skytrain station with Prajadhipok Road to facilitate commuters in Thon Buri district.

Nathaporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, said the monorail would be developed in two sections, with the first running 1.72km from Krung Thon Buri skytrain station to Taksin Hospital, and the second section from the hospital to Wat Anongkaram for a distance of 0.96km.

The development will be handled by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), which would later design the monorail system as well as the format of investment.

The first section is expected to start running in 2018, with the second section scheduled to run in 2023.

Mr Nathaporn said the BMA also plans to extend the Gold Line to Asiatique The Riverfront, a large-scale riverside community mall developed by Riverside Masterplan Co and owned by liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

In a related development, Kobsak Phutrakul, assistant minister to the Prime Minister's Office, said the cabinet approved new guidelines for land expropriation proposed by the Council of State, aiming to achieve maximum benefits for land development, particularly for areas along the rail networks.

Under the new guidelines, landowners or their heirs are allowed to request state agencies to return a portion of the land plots if they are unused or not developed within 10 years.

Failing such requests, this group of plots would fall automatically to state agencies or units that could make use of them for any purpose.

To minimise the impact on landowners, state agencies are required to propose a clear plan for land utilisation and development. The plans need to be proposed to a national-level committee to be set up by the Finance Ministry and endorsed by the cabinet.

The cabinet yesterday also approved a 20-year strategic plan for the Commerce Ministry (2016-2036) that aims mainly to reform the country's trade structure and trade-related legal amendments as well as increase the competitiveness of Thai entrepreneurs and traders.

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