Purple Line construction 'won't damage' old temple

Purple Line construction 'won't damage' old temple

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) on Monday reiterated its promise to minimise the impact of the construction of the Purple Line rail project on the premises of the centuries old Wat Iam Woranuch.

Kittikorn Tanpao, deputy governor of the MRTA, said while some structures on the temple grounds could be affected by the construction project, the 237-year-old chapel and pagoda would not be demolished.

He said the bidding process for the Purple Line is not taking place, so talks are still going on. He noted that it is the Ministry of Transport's decision that the chapel and pagoda must not be appropriated and demolished.

"The MRTA will go over the construction plan and see what it can do to minimise the impact," Mr Kittikorn said. "There will be no demolition unless necessary."

Wat Iam Woranuch is located on Samsen Road of Ban Phan Thom sub-district in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district.

The agency found itself in hot water last week after Wat Iam Woranuch's Facebook page posted a message saying the temple land would be appropriated for the Purple Line.

He said an area of 100 square metres is needed for the construction of a train station, adding the MRTA will discuss the matter with the temple again.

"The temple wants to know more details to ease concerns about the project's impact," he said. "I think the issue turned into a controversy because officials have not explained what they were doing."

He said the current work involves surveying land for the project and the agency's plan to sell bidding envelopes to companies in June.

The winner is expected to be announced in August or September, with the train service launching in 2027.

Estimated to be worth about 125 billion baht, the 23.6-kilometre Purple Line, from Tao Poon to Rat Burana, is a southern extension.

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