PM: Nationwide transportation expansion to complete in 2017

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BANGKOK, Oct 25 – As the ASEAN Economic Community is scheduled to kick off at the end of 2015, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha says he has ordered relevant government agencies to complete road construction and expansion in every region of Thailand as well as connecting them with border points by 2017.

Speaking during his weekly television address on Friday night, Gen Prayut said the plan was forwarded by the Transport Ministry to the cabinet for consideration earlier this week.

The eight-year strategic plan, starting from 2015, is aimed at developing five sectors of the transportation network and covers development of Laem Chabang deep seaport, Suvarnabhumi and Phuket  international airports as well, he said.

Gen Prayut stressed that the development plans for public transportation is aimed at solving traffic problem in Bangkok while highways would be connected with neighbouring countries to help boost Thailand’s competitiveness.

Six rail routes, with combined distance of 903 kilometres, will be developed, said Gen Prayut.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2018. Construction of another eight rail routes with combined distance of 1,626 kilometres will begin in 2017.

Besides that, double rail tracks with standard gauge will be constructed  on three routes and they will be connected to industrial estates and Thailand’s neighbours of Cambodia and Laos, said Gen Prayut.

The first rail route starts from Bangkok – Nakhon Ratchasima – Map Ta Phut, while the second one runs from Bangkok to Rayong and the third one runs from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai.

On the development of Laem Chabang deep seaport, Gen Prayut said his interim government aims to make it a ‘hub of goods transportation via railway’ upon completion in 2017.

The government will also develop marine transportation, piers and especially the waterway in the Pa Sak River so that goods transportation could be carried out smoothly, he added.