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Bangkok observation tower to be built with no bidding

BANGKOK: The cabinet yesterday (June 27) approved a plan to build a B4.6-billion observation tower in Bangkok without a call for bids.

constructioncorruptionlandenvironmenttourism
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 09:04AM


The Bangkok observation tower will be built by the Chao Phraya River in Charoen Nakhon district. Photo: Dekwat1975 Facebook

The Bangkok observation tower will be built by the Chao Phraya River in Charoen Nakhon district. Photo: Dekwat1975 Facebook

Athisit Chainuwat, an assistant to the government spokesman, said the cabinet agreed with the Treasury Department’s proposal to bypass bidding for the project due to concern about a possible delay and lack of interest from construction firms.

The 459-metre-high tower will be built on a land plot of the department by the Chao Phraya River in Soi Charoen Nakhon 7 in Khlong San district.

The construction cost, estimated at B4.42bn, will be financed by the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation, loans from financial institutions and donations. The government, by the Treasury Department, will co-invest in the amount equivalent to the 30-year rentals of the plot.

A project more than B1bn with the use for state land plots normally has to be carried out as a public-private partnership with calls for bids to ensure transparency.

The project was approved in December last year to be a new landmark in the capital but construction has not been started.

Col Athisit said a company to be picked to build the tower has to show a blueprint on traffic management, environmental conservation and community development to the department and the Finance Ministry.

The tower will be the first in Bangkok to draw tourists to the capital. It will showcase royal projects of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej among others to be on display.

According to earlier reports, the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation, a private-sector organisation, had a seed fund of B500,000. It intended to borrow B2.5bn for the project and donations are projected at B2.1bn.

The project estimated revenue from admission fees at B1.1bn baht a year against expenses of B892 million. The admission fee will be B750 and Thais will get a 50% discount. Revenue after expenses will go to charity.

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Kurt | 29 June 2017 - 05:45:17

Just red that in Sapporo, Japan,  the JR Tower tickets cost 200 thb only.
The ticket price is the same, for Japanese and foreigners!

Kurt | 28 June 2017 - 12:34:38

Is it not strange that the building/construction of the new Parliament in Bangkok is years overdue, and now this observation tower thing pops up in a hasty way?
I would say, try to complete first that new Parliament building.
Than BKK water management works. 
And if there is nothing more to do, then think about such a tower again.
A tower no one is waiting for.

And 750 thb for a ticket ( th...

Discover Thainess | 28 June 2017 - 11:04:31

I wouldn't even buy a new sofa without going to at least two shops and getting quotes. To just pick a builder and give them over a billion baht to build this can only raise questions about transparency. The article quotes not wanting delays, is there a particular rush to build the tower? To build a bypass road or a rail link - yes - there could be a pressing need for it to be delivered. But fo...

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