Public-Private Partnership: 10 new northeastern roads endorsed

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SURIN, July 30 – Construction of ten more routes in Thailand’s Northeast with a budget of Bt18.6 billion was  endorsed by the Public-Private Partnership Committee meeting in this northeastern province today.

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong said the committee agreed on the new infrastructure, affirming that the big-budget routes will be put in the government’s Bt2 trillion loan package.

The new roads include two parts of Highway 304 Kabin Buri-Pak Thong Chai (with completed  environmental impact studies), a ring road around Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial seat at a budget of Bt4.6 billion, Highway 205 Non Thai-Nong Bua Kok, and expanding four-lane Highway 201 Sikhio-Nong Bua Kok.

A double-track railway linking Nakhon Ratchasima-Surin-Buri Ram-Si Sa Ket-Ubon Ratchathani is expected to be complete by 2019, Mr Kittiratt added.

Expansion of Ubon Ratchathani airport is also planned (passenger terminal, aircraft parking), with a budget of Bt360 million to support 4 millton passengers/year to be renovated in 2014-2016.

Another project approved at Monday’s committee meeting included an elephant-assistance project.

Surin’s Dong Pu Din Forestry Plantations has 7,000 rai of farmland as denuded forest.

Concessions are needed for the private sector to take over and develop the area to become the world’s biggest home to elephants so that the place becomes one of Surin’s main tourist attractions.