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The auction for a 15-billion-baht light rail network in Khon Kaen is expected to be held at the end of this year, said Khemchart Somjaiwong, chairman of Khon Kaen's chamber of commerce.
Mr Khemchart said the rail network will have 16 stops, spanning 22.6 kilometres. The current plan aims to make island platforms for the trains on Mittraphap Road, running from the Tha Phra locality to the Samran locality in Khon Kaen's Muang district.
Plans for the light rail transit (LRT) project are currently awaiting approval from the cabinet.
Once the cabinet approves the project, the auctioning process will begin.
Mr Khemchart said several private companies in Khon Kaen are interested in investing in the project.
He said both Thai and foreign private companies are welcome to bid in the auction.
Upon its completion, the rail will be the Northeast's first electric train system, he said.
Khon Kaen's light rail network is part of a government initiative to establish a "Smart City" project by improving people's quality of life.
Theerasak Theekhayuphan, Khon Kaen Municipality mayor, said the municipality is also currently observing the initiative.
"We are currently following seven degrees of 'Smart': Smart People, Living, Environment, Economy, Mobility, Governance and Education," he said.
Mr Theerasak added Khon Kaen has plans to construct a waste disposal plant that converts waste into electricity, in accordance with the "Smart Environment" model.
According to him, the plant can dispose of 600 tonnes of waste per day.
Mr Theerasak also said the municipality has set up a company aimed to address "Smart Mobility" by looking to find long-term solutions to common traffic-related issues in the province.
The company, called Khon Kaen Transit System Co, Ltd (KKTS), has been registered under the Ministry of Interior, he said.
This article first appeared on www.bangkokpost.com
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