Court dismisses suit filed against MRTA
text size

Court dismisses suit filed against MRTA

The Supreme Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) against the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and its bidding committee for revising the terms of reference (ToR) for the Orange Line's western extension.

The court on Wednesday upheld the decision of the Central Administrative Court that ruled in favour of the MRTA after the BTSC had accused the MRTA and its committee -- tasked with selecting a private partner to co-invest in the construction of the Orange Line's western extension from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non -- of unfairly changing the ToR in 2022 with the intent of helping a certain bidder win.

The court stated that the defendants followed the law on public-private partnership investment without vested interests and that all the ToR changes were justifiable.

The ToR revision aimed to screen private companies that are capable of efficiently handling the project.

A 60-day public hearing was conducted on the changes in 2022, as required by the 2019 Public-Private Partnership Investment Act.

The invitation announcement did not impact the BTSC's rights or duties, said the source. This case concludes a series of legal battles over the Orange Line project that have lasted over four years.

Following the court's ruling, the MRTA can now sign a contract with the bid winner, Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM), this year.

Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said the MRTA will draft a joint investment contract for the western section for the minister's approval within 30 days before presenting it to the cabinet.

Once approved, the MRTA will expedite operations of the Orange Line's eastern part, connecting the Thailand Cultural Centre and Min Buri by May 2028.

Former MRTA governor Phakphong Sirikantharamas said civil work on the eastern section was completed over a year ago. A quick contract for the western extension will allow the private company to service the eastern segment, benefiting people in eastern Bangkok.

The Orange Line Project, a 35.9-kilometre underground and elevated transit system, connects Bang Khun Non with Min Buri. Currently, only construction on the eastern part is complete, but it is not yet operational.

Do you like the content of this article?