BANGKOK, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) dismissed on Wednesday criticisms that it will be disadvantaged by the private sector in a high-speed train project to link the country's three international airports.
Acting SRT Governor Anon Luangboriboon said in a statement that the high-speed train project was estimated to bring huge economic benefits as much as some 650 billion baht (about 20.3 billion U.S. dollars).
It is designed to link Don Muang airport on the northern outskirts of Bangkok with Suvarnabhumi airport in eastern suburban Bangkok and U-tapao airport in Rayong province under the Eastern Economic Corridor project, which is to develop the eastern three provinces of Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao into a modern, high-tech, innovative industrial urban area.
The SRT has followed risk management policy to see to it that the state firm will not be disadvantaged to the private concessionaires in the implementation of the high-speed train project.
The SRT will be responsible for the construction of infrastructural systems and land eviction and management in support of the high-speed train project whereas the private sector will be given concessions to build rail tracks, procure locomotives and carriages as well as run train services, repairs and maintenance, according to the SRT statement.
The concession period is 50 years, which Anon said it is reasonable and necessary based on the huge investment and comparatively high risk.