Cabinet gives nod for MRT land appropriation bills
The cabinet has in principle approved eight draft land appropriation bills that would allow the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to improve the accessibility of public transportation for the general public, especially those with disabilities, if passed.
Transit authority governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas said the draft bills define plots of land targeted along the Blue and Green lines to be appropriated to improve Bangkok's public transportation system.
Four of the bills includes plans for the appropriation of land for the Hua Lamphong-Bang Khae and the Bang Sue-Tha Phra sections of the Blue Line.
The other four cover the appropriation of land for the Bearing-Samut Prakan and Mor Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot sections of the Green Line.
If passed, bills would allow the MRTA to improve escalators, access ramps and elevators. They will also make sure footpaths are at least 1.5 metres wide as required by law.
The bills will next be examined by the Council of State before they are sent back to the cabinet for endorsement.
For the Blue Line, a total of 98 plots of land and 114 structures would be appropriated, covering 13 districts in the capital.
For the Green Line, 51 plots of land and 36 structures would be appropriated, covering six districts in Bangkok, Muang district of Samut Prakan province and Lam Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani province.
Mr Pakapong said the process would take approximately 400 days from the date of the notification of the property survey. Meanwhile, the Budget Bureau would allocate funds as necessary to the MRTA once the eight bills come into force.
The move to improve public transport accessibility follows a series of complaints demanding the transit authority inspect footpaths at transportation hubs to make sure infrastructure meets the requirements set by the law.