Scholars participating in a panel discussion on the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima at Chulalongkorn University on Thursday were skeptical with the project with one of them predicting that the project is bound to be a big flop.

Dr Nualnoi Trirat, director of Asian Studies Institute of Chulalongkorn University, said the question in economic aspect about the project is whether the project is worth the investment and economically and socially viable.

Looking back at the failure in the management of the Airpoirt Link project, leading to maintenance problem and the low number of commuters using the Purple Line train project, she said that the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project barely has a chance of success.

From the planning which was announced, there will only be loss and loss. Arriving in Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) and not figuring out yet how to proceed to the other destinations. There is no feeder system to accommodate the passengers, said Dr Nualnoi.

For a mega project, she noted that one thing that we have to bear in mind � that -is: What are we doing for the future � to increase our capability and competitiveness or to increase our burden from monopolistic system and no technology transfer, which may cause problem in the future, said the professor.

Dr Sompong Sirisophonsilp, former director of Transport Institute, said there was no strategy of how could we proceed with the project. He warned that the high-speed train project would duplicate with two mass transport systems.

Dr Sompong voiced support for the dual rail track project which, he pointed out, would be the most appropriate of the three projects.

Assistant professor Worasak Mahatthanobon, director of Chinese Studies Centre, said the advance of the high-speed train project would be another accomplishment of China.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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