BTSC hails ruling on cancelled bid

BTSC hails ruling on cancelled bid

Construction work proceeds on the Orange Line on Ramkhamhaeng Road. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Construction work proceeds on the Orange Line on Ramkhamhaeng Road. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Central Administrative Court (CAC) has ruled in favour of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) in a dispute over the cancellation of bidding early last year for the right to jointly invest in a new section of the Orange Line from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri.

The decision by the committee selecting a private company to jointly invest in the new Orange Line project to scrap the first bidding was unlawful, said the court ruling on Thursday.

The selection committee's decision led to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA)'s announcement on Feb 3 last year that it was cancelling the bid, said Surapong Laoha-Unya, CEO of BTSC, who welcomed the court's decision.

The court declared invalid the committee's decision cancelling the first bidding, which was terminated before terms of reference were drafted and new bidding was called.

"Justice is done. What happened then has been found to be unlawful and this has set the new norm for bidding," said Mr Surapong. "We don't know if we will win this bidding or not but we want it to have transparency, fairness and accountability."

There is another court decision BTSC is still looking forward to hearing, he said.

Along with the petition submitted with the CAC over the Orange Line bidding dispute, BTSC has also petitioned the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases to rule against both the selection committee and the MRTA over their roles in cancelling the first bidding.

The anti-corruption court is set to hand down its ruling on Sept 17, he said.

BTSC is waiting to see what the MRTA will do next about the first unfinished bidding it had already cancelled and the second bidding that is now underway, he said.

The court on Thursday also pointed out that the second bidding can be cancelled, he said. The criteria set for selecting a winner in the second round of bidding have not changed from those in the first bidding in terms of prices; but the technical criteria have been changed in a surprising way, he said.

Contenders were required under the old technical criteria to have experience in operating electric train services in the country and experience in constructing a project overseas, he said.

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