Transport Ministry to set up new department to be in charge of rail transportation

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BANGKOK, 17 April 2013 – The Transport Ministry is planning to set up a new department, which will be in charge of the country’s rail transport after the 2-trillion-baht loan bill comes into effect. 

Permanent Secretary for Transport Pol. Gen. Wichean Potephosree, on Wednesday, chaired a meeting of the ministry’s sub-committee in charge of the establishment of a new state agency for the development of the rail transport system.

He said the meeting discussed the plan to set up a department to reform the country’s rail transport management.

Pol. Gen. Wichean stated that the new department will be authorized to oversee all infrastructural development projects and related safety systems.

The details of Wednesday discussion will be presented to the meeting of a committee in charge of the government structure at the end of the month, and later to the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission of Thailand for approval of the hiring of 200 employees for this new department.

The Permanent Secretary for Transport added that the planned hiring is expected to be executed under the 2015 fiscal budget.

Meanwhile, Director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Chula Sukmanop said that the reason behind the planned setting up of a rail transport department was the government’s mega rail transport project under the budget of 1.6 trillion baht within 7-10 years.

Mr. Chula added that, with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) not in the position to shoulder more costs, its reform is now imminent, or the development initiative will not materialize and achieve its goal.