The Transport Ministry is confident the construction of the 3.5-kilometre section of the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway between Klang Dong � Pang Asok stations in Nakhon Ratchasima province will begin in December since the environmental impact assessment report for it has been completed, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.

The construction of the 3.5-km section of the railway between Klang Dong and Pang Asok stations in Nakhon Ratchasima has been delayed because the EIA report is still pending approval, Mr Arkhom said after a meeting of the committee on the management of the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project on Wednesday (Nov 15).

The railway's first phase will connect Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, with the second phase linking Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai.

Mr Arkhom said the EIA report has been sent to the Office of the Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning for consideration for the 7th time and a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said it is already completed.

It is believed the EIA report will be forwarded to a cabinet meeting in November and the construction will start in mid-December, he said.

An exact date cannot yet be given, pending a joint meeting with the Chinese counterpart on Nov 24, he added.

As for the 2nd-4th sections of the Bangkok � Nakhon Ratchasima phase, the Chinese side has been asked to send the designs in six months and the bidding for the construction of two other sections are expected to be called in the first quarter of next year.

Four subcommittees to expedite the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project have also been set up to supervise the implementation and the development of the rail system, and to lay down plans for the transfer of technology and the provision of passengers for the high-speed train.

The first two subcommittees will be chaired by the deputy transport minister and the 3rd by an assistant to the transport minister. The chairman of the 4th subcommittee has not yet been fixed.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin