Extra spending of B2bn for high-speed link gets nod

Extra spending of B2bn for high-speed link gets nod

The cabinet yesterday approved an additional 2.17 billion baht to buy land needed to build the 220-km high-speed railway linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports.

The cabinet accepted a proposal by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy committee to increase the land expropriation budget for the project, from 3.57 billion baht to 5.74 billion baht.

The extra amount will be drawn in two parts: 580 million baht from this year's budget, to be handed over to the contractors by Oct 24, and the rest from next year's.

The parcels of land earmarked for expropriation lie along the rail line between Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said if the government failed to hand over the land to the contractors in time, the companies might serve the State Railway of Thailand with a notice warning of an impending breach of contract or sue the government for damages.

The high-speed railway line is essential to the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor, one of the government's flagship, large-scale projects.

It also looks set to generate a huge amount of employment, said Ms Rachada.

The project involves extending the Airport Rail Link from Suvarnabhumi airport to U-tapao airport in Rayong, and in the other direction, to Don Mueang airport in the north of Bangkok.

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