State Railway governor, board replaced

State Railway governor, board replaced

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, centre, launches a new train at Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok last year. SRT governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitra is at right, and Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is at left. On Thursday the premier transferred the SRT governor to an inactive post. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, centre, launches a new train at Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok last year. SRT governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitra is at right, and Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is at left. On Thursday the premier transferred the SRT governor to an inactive post. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha used Section 44 to sack the governor and the entire board of the State Railway of Thailand on Thursday and appoint a new team, with a highways deputy chief now acting governor.

Wearing his hat of chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), he said the sweeping change was intended to improve the management and efficiency of the state enterprise and facilitate national reform.

The new board chairman is Voravidh Champeeratana, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Its members are: Anont Luangboriboon, deputy director-general of the Highways Department; Chunhachit Sungmai, fiscal and financial adviser of the Comptroller General's Department; Bowon Vongsinudom, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries; Piti Tantakasem, chief wholesale banking officer of TMB bank; Adm Thaweechai Boonya-ananta, chief adviser to the navy; Gp Capt Thanakorn Pheeraphan, a director of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority; Aunchalee Tengpratip, auditor of the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation; and Amnuay Preemonwong, deputy permanent secretary for finance.

Mr Anont was also appointed the acting governor of the SRT.

The NCPO order sees SRT governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitra become an official attached to the PM’s Office.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said later on Thursday five double-track railway projects had been delayed for months pending the SRT's verification of contender qualifications. 

The appointment of a new board and acting governor should speed up the work, he said.

The minister was referring to five sections of double-track railway with a combined distance of 668 kilometres worth 95.8 billion baht.

Three sections were designed to run from Nakhon Pathom southward to Chumphon province, another from Lop Buri northward to Pak Nam Pho area in Nakhon Sawan province and the other from the Map Kabao station in Sara Buri province northeastward to the Thanon Chira junction in Nakhon Ratchasima.

“In the past, the SRT governor did a certain amount of work, but we want the board and the SRT governor to supervise projects more closely and ensure there are no irregularities,” the minister said.


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