Gen Prayut made the remark about the 41.7 kilometre light-rail route from Phuket International Airport to Chalong intersection during his visit to Phuket on Monday (July 8) for the official grand opening ceremony of the Chalong Underpass.
He opened his speech at the ceremony with “Sawasdee, Bangkok”, before apologising for the confusion and blaming it on Bangkok and Phuket having the same problem: traffic congestion. (See story here.)
The PM’s remark on the light-rail system came after he was briefed on the MRTA’s decision to adjust the design to avoid adverse impacts on traffic, said MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas.
The design adjustment, however, will result in a 10% rise in funding, or B2bn, for phase 1 only, which stands at B34.8bn, Mr Pakapong said. (See story here.)
In response to the PM’s order, the MRTA is now speeding up work on the design and working out a clearer investment plan for the project before submitting it to the government’s committee on public-private partnership (PPP) investment policy and then Cabinet.
The MRTA expects the design and investment plan to be approved by the Cabinet late this year, Mr Pakapong said.