State Railway Green Lights Bangkok to Chiang Rai Rail Line
Thailand’s State Railway has approved the bid results for the 72.9-billion baht Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong route. The new rail line will branch off from the current Bangkok-Chiang Mai Railway at Den Chai. The railway will then head towards Chiang Rai city, then branch oof to Chiang Khong on the Thailand-Laos border.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) board also approved the bid for the construction of the 55.4-billion-baht Ban Phai-Maha Sarakham-Roi Et-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom route.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered an investigation into alleged price collusion and unfair treatment of some bidders, which delayed the SRT’s approval until yesterday.
According to the source, these results were approved just recently after the committee probing irregularities found no evidence to support the claims. The committee reported this to the prime minister on Nov 23.
Read: Bidding Process of Northern Railway Projects Riddled with Complaints
General Prayut assigned the Ministry of Transport to continue the two rail projects while simultaneously explaining to the public the findings from the previous investigation. He also amended some laws to strengthen legal mechanisms against collusion in future bidding wars.
A rebid would have required an increase in the median prices for the two projects to keep up with inflation.
This would have added 4.2 billion baht to the 323km northern project and 2.9 billion to the 355km northeastern project.
As the bidding results were announced, the ITD-NWR Consortium was awarded a 26.8-billion-baht contract for building the 104km Den Chai-Ngao section, the CKST-DC Consortium won a 26.9-billion-baht contract for building the 135km Ngao-Chiang Rai section, and CKST-DC also won a 19.3-billion-baht contract for building the 84km Chiang Rai-Chi
In addition, two contracts were awarded to AS-CHO Thavee and Associates Consortium and UNIQ Consortium respectively for 180km of the Ban Phai-Nong Phok section and 175km of the Nong Phok-Sapha Mittraphap section.