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The 11-km second section is one of four in the first phase of an overall project that will see a second phase stretch from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai.
The Chinese have already sent a construction plan for the 11-km second section, from Sikhiu district to tambon Kut Chik in Sung Noen district in Nakhon Ratchasima province, said Thanin Somboon, director-general of the Department of Highways.
The Thai side at this point has requested some minor changes in the construction plan and the Chinese are expected to send back a revised version within the month, he said. This means bidding for the construction contract for the second section should take place next month as planned, he said.
The planned 11km 'second section' comes after a 5km 'first section', equally isolated, that was due to be completed in May.
Designing the construction plan for the third section, stretching 119km long from Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi to Nakhon Ratchasima, is a work in progress, he said.
China is expected to submit the draft of this section soon for inspection and possible revision, he said, adding that bidding for the construction of this section of line is expected to take place some time between September and January next year.
Construction of the Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima section is planned to begin in March next year, he said.
The fourth and last section, also 119-km long from Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi, is also in the construction planning stage, he said, adding that bidding for the construction of this section is expected between November this year and March next year.
Construction of the fourth section is planned to begin in April next year, he said.
In related news, Pornthep Inthachai, president of Chiang Rai's chamber of commerce, said the provincial chambers of commerce of Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan and Lampang are joining hands to push for the cabinet to approve the Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong dual-track train project, worth 76 billion baht.
Den Chai is a district in Phrae province while Chiang Khong is in Chiang Rai.
The project was expected to be considered by the cabinet on Tuesday but wasn't included on the meeting agenda. It is now expected to be submitted for cabinet consideration next Tuesday, said an informed source.
Chiang Khong is a special economic area and it needs an effective transport system to connect to the neighbouring countries, namely Laos, China, Vietnam and Myanmar, said Mr Pornthep.
Meanwhile, Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas says the MRTA has yet to submit to its board plans to construct the southern section of the Purple Line because the sub-committee supervising the project rejected the draft and requested a revised version.
The sub-panel wants more opinions from organisaitons concerned, he said.
The section will stretch 23.6km from Tao Pun to Rat Burana.
This article first appeared on www.bangkokpost.com
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