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Phuket light-rail up open to public by 2023, assures official

Phuket light-rail up open to public by 2023, assures official

PHUKET: Local residents will be able to get on board Phuket’s light-rail by 2023, a top official behind the project has assured.

Niran Kaetkeaw, the Director of the Regional Bureau of Transportation and Traffic Promotion, Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and planning (OTP), said on Friday (Oct 26) that the project was making good progress.

“The e-bidding for the project is expected to start next year 2019, with bids closing in 2020. We expect construction to start in 2020, with construction completed by 2022,” Mr Niran said.

“The first year of operation will be a trial period, with the light-rail fully operational and open to the public by 2023 for certain,” he added.

Mr Niran explained that the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), which has now been granted legal authority to oversee the project, began seeking feedback from relevant agencies and the public in order to draft the terms of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) government tender to be offered.

“The MRTA will then submit their report to the Ministry of Transport and assist in expediting the preparation of the government tender documents,” he said.

“Construction of the first 41.7 kilometres of the project will be launched in the first half of 2022, or before the beginning of 2023. The budget for this section will be B30.154 billion.

“The entire project will be along a total of 58.52km, with a total project cost of B39.406 billion,” he said.

The northern section of the light-rail route will mainly follow Thepkrasattri Rd, Mr Niran noted.

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Ihsane Benazzouz

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