Transport Ministry questioned over Makkasan rail evictions

Transport Ministry questioned over Makkasan rail evictions

The Transport Ministry will be asked to explain how it plans to resolve the grievances of communities facing the State Railway of Thailand's (SRT) order to be evicted from the Makkasan area.

The issue was raised by a group of young lawmakers in the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) led by the party-list MP Wathanya Wong-opasee.

The group visited residents in the Boon Romsai communities in Soi Phetchaburi 7 and attended a session to hear the plight of residents. The Boon Romsai are more widely known as the Choomchon Rim Thang Rotfai Makkasan (Makkasan Railtrack) communities.

The SRT is clearing away large tracts in the Makkasan area, a former rail depot, for a project to build a hub for high-speed rail linking U-Tapao, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports under the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor policy.

The MPs said 2,366 families are affected by the eviction order. Residents have urged the SRT to set a clear move-out deadline for them and explain what remedial assistance the agency has in store for the affected residents.

Ms Wathanya said the residents wanted the SRT to stop taking legal action against them for having opposed the hub development plan. Also, they said the SRT should set aside 500 rai of its land to accommodate the evictees.

Ms Wathanya said the group will convey the problem to related state agencies so a solution could be figured out. However, this must be done quickly before the SRT hands over the land the communities currently occupy to private companies for the hub development.

Also, PPRP MP for Bangkok Pada Worakanon said the residents desperately need a new place to stay.

The MPs will raise the issue in a parliament meeting where they will submit a motion asking Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob to explain how the ministry plans to help.


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