B5.9bn sought for motorways

The Highways Department is seeking 5.9 billion baht for three new motorway projects after the 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill was shot down by the Constitutional Court.

The construction of motorways between Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district and Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district and Ratchaburi’s Ban Pong district, and Pattaya and Rayong’s Map Ta Phut will continue, but the projects will face a one-year delay, said department chief Chatchawan Buncharoenkit.

The Constitutional Court ruled on March 13 that the borrowing bill breached the charter. Much of the funding in the bill was earmarked for transport development.

But the department can still ask the government to allocate funds for the work from ordinary annual budgets.

Mr Chatchawan said the department wants half of the 11.8-billion-baht cost of the three motorways 

upfront to acquire land for the projects.

Both the Ayutthaya-Nakhon Ratchasima and Nonthaburi-Ratchaburi projects have passed environmental impact assessments, he said.

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