The Thai government will find nine billion baht from its budget to pay the NVPSKG consortium, the contractor of the canned multi-billion-baht Klong Dan waste water treatment plant in Samut Prakan province.
This comes months after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled it to do so, a senior ministry official said yesterday.
Kasemsun Chinnavaso, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said that after rounds of post-court ruling negotiations, the consortium has agreed to waive the interest charge of 1.8 million baht per day ordered by the court last year which had raised the total payment to 11 billion baht.
According to reports the project has suffered numerous setbacks due to corruption. Last November, the Supreme Court found the ministry culpable for not paying outstanding construction costs after the project was completed.
Natural resources and environment minister Praphat Panyachartrak of the Thaksin I government ordered the project suspended and set up a committee to investigate. The probe confirmed rampant corruption and the case was forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, focusing on land acquisitions by Vatana.
Regarding the Klong Dan waste water treatment site’s future, Kasemsun Chinnavaso said he has assigned the Wastewater Management Authority to discuss with locals what they want to do with the site.
“If the locals are unhappy with the waste water treatment project, I see no reason to put more money into fixing the treatment system. But we still have a waste water pipe on the other side. We can go ahead with the plant if the locals agree with it,” he said.
The winning contractor was a consortium known as NVPSKG, which was made up of Vichitphan Construction, which is owned by the Chavananand family; Seesaeng Karn Yotha, the founder of which is Banharn Silpa-archa, former prime minister and now chief adviser to the Chartthaipattana Party; Krung Thon Engineering, which is affiliated with Vichitphan; and Prayoonvisavat Karn Chang, founded by Visava Liptapallop, father of Mr Suwat.