The Transport Ministry has poured cold water on a suggestion by the Bangkok governor to move Bangkok Port from Klong Toey district, saying it has plans to develop the facility into a green port.
According to Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, relocating from Klong Toey to the Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri could reduce the number of trips by freight trucks entering and leaving Bangkok Port by at least a million a year, which would cut road traffic and help ease PM2.5 levels.
He said City Hall would propose the relocation to political parties as a way of tackling Bangkok’s flood problems. By getting the port out of the capital, it would mean no more freight ships sailing up the river to hinder a future flood-prevention project he has in store.
Mr Chadchart said Laem Chabang Port handles over 10 million cargo containers yearly while Bangkok only handles 1 million. Also, Laem Chabang is a green port with a railway connection to the Inland Container Depot in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district.
“The relocation has already been included in the national action plan; however, it has not been adopted by any government agency,” he said.
With the next election looming, the Bangkok governor said that bringing up the relocation idea might inspire parties to discuss and weigh the pros and cons before the next government executes any plans.
However, the Transport Ministry said it does not have plans to relocate Bangkok Port, adding that Mr Chadchart had not officially proposed the idea to the Port Authority of Thailand.
Sources said Bangkok Port is responsible for a lot of important cargo goods and functions as a distribution centre. Any relocation would affect the country’s import and export businesses and economy.
They said the ministry has addressed haze pollution from cargo trucks entering and leaving Bangkok Port, adding that the ministry plans to gentrify the port and transform it into a green tourism port.
Moreover, the Transport Ministry has prepared to transfer containers from Bangkok Port to a new distribution centre in Ayutthaya province. The source said the study would be completed by the end of this year.
The Ministry also plans to build an expressway connecting Bangkok Port and the S1 expressway linking Art Narong with Bang Na.