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Cabinet promises Patong Tunnel works to start in 2023, while light rail budget jumps B400mn

Cabinet promises Patong Tunnel works to start in 2023, while light rail budget jumps B400mn

PHUKET: Following the mobile Cabinet meeting in Phuket yesterday (Nov 3), deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul has announced that work on the long-awaited Patong Tunnel project will begin in 2023, and that the budget for the Phuket Light Rail projected as increased further, this time by B400 million.

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 4 November 2020, 08:23PM


Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul announced the updates against a backdrop of Phuket Town. Photo: NNT

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul announced the updates against a backdrop of Phuket Town. Photo: NNT

Ms Traisuree explained that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob delivered an update on the two projects at the mobile Cabinet meeting, reported state news agency the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT).

Regarding the decades-in-coming Patong Tunnel project, at last report budgeted at around B14.177 billion, Mr Saksayam explained that the Expressways Authority of Thailand (EXAT) had already submitted the required project information to the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), who later acknowledged and ordered EXAT to quickly file land-usage requests to the Royal Forest Department.

“The land-use request is expected to be approved by the end of this year. As planned, the process of selection for private companies to join the project will take from June 2021 to Jan 2023. The project construction will be from Feb 2023 to Jan 2027, and [the tunnel will] open for service in Feb 2027”, Ms Traisuree said.

Regarding the much-touted Phuket Light Rail project, the latest progress update was that the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) had been authorised to operate the light rail project in Phuket following the authority being published in the Government Gazette on April 6 last year, Ms Traisuree added.

“According to the plan, the Cabinet will approve a form of investment of the project in October 2021 [sic], followed by the selection of private companies to join the project through investment from March 2022 to March 2023,” she said.

Dan About Thailand

“Construction of the project will start in April 2023 and [the light rail will] open for service in July 2026,” she added.

Ms Trisuree also explained that the cost of Phase 1 of the project will be about B35.201 billion.

However, MRTA’s Project Development Department Director, Gardphajon Udomdhammabhakdi confirmed to The Phuket News last year that the latest budget figure for only Phase 1 of the project stood at B34.8bn.

The B400mn increase in the budget needed announced yesterday remains unexplained.

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CaptainJack69 | 06 November 2020 - 11:47:44

Yup, there's nothing any light-rail system would do that a network of modern buses wouldn't do cheaper, better and faster. And as for the tunnel, will the light-rail go through it? No, of course not, why would it go to Phukets main destination? That might actually make it useful and we can't have that. Why a tunnel anyway? To reach Patongs awful traffic faster? 2 huge wastes of tax pay...

Kurt | 05 November 2020 - 10:50:01

Excuse me! Do first fix what is crippled now. That is the Phuket water situation, incinerator capacity,  garbage collection, and free Phuket of illegal garbage/construction stuff dump places. Fix first what is not working before taking up new things. Of course 'NEW' is more lucrative, more kick backs. Try once to resist that!

Kurt | 05 November 2020 - 10:42:23

Better spend money on a combination of trolley busses and free riding electric busses. Anything fixed by rail system is taking space, and makes transport, what we not have now, very much less flexible. Fixed rail lines will be a disaster for Phuket  and not serves needs. Needed Rail maintenance disturbs regular transport to much.

PhuketRe | 05 November 2020 - 06:53:33

Stop with this ridiculous light rail project! Nobody will use it! Tourists dont come at all and if come, dont go to rawaii and phuket town, but western part of island. Thai people use motorbikes/cars. You will make the island ugly with rails and cables - destroy amazing palm trees in the middle of the road and make the highway and roads more traffic jam than ever! Better spend money on water!

Fascinated | 05 November 2020 - 00:40:55

Someone needs to look at where all the pork is going. the amount of money being squandered on this is obscene.

 

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