A prime land plot owned by The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) in Bangkok’s Makkasan area is to be developed by the Finance Ministry for both commercial and social purposes in a bid to ease public opposition. The 490-rai plot will be developed for commercial purposes and as a public park, Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan was quoted as saying yesterday.
Earlier the Finance Ministry planned to develop the land plot as a new commercial district, but public protests demanded the land be maintained as a green zone. The SRT recently agreed to lease the Makkasan The 700-rai plot comprises a large swamp and 490 rai of land that can be developed.
That land covers the Makkasan station on the Airport Rail Link, an SRT hospital, residential quarters for staff and the head of the maintenance unit The Finance Ministry will meet with the SRT next Wednesday for a joint appraisal of the land value for the rental fee calculation. Transport Minister Prajin Juntong earlier said part of the plot should be set aside for a new park, museum, exercise area and bicycle lane.
Treasury Department director-general Chakkrit Parapantakul said the SRT was bogged down with debt worth 110 billion baht, of which 80 billion was losses and 30 billion trade debt. Some 50 billion baht worth of which 80 billion was losses and 30 billion trade debt. Some 50 billion baht worth of losses was the result of previous governments’ policies, with the rest incurred from SRT operations.