13 Feb 2018
12:22 am

Construction of the Blue Line train project from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae and from Taopoon to Tha Phra is 97.69 percent completed and the Blue Line extensions will be open to the public in September next year for the Hua Lamphong-Tha Phra-Lak Song section and in February 2020 for the Taopoon-Tha Phra section.

Deputy Transport Minister Pairin Chuchotethavorn on Monday conducted an inspection of the construction at Wat Mangkorn station in China Town area.

The Wat Mangkorn station of the Blue Line will be decorated with Sino-Portuguese architecture in compliance with the China Town environment. Dragon pattern will be the main theme of decorations and designs for the path leading to the station, the ceiling of the station and ticket booths with lotus pattern being painted on both sides of the walkway wall.

The Blue Line extensions cover a total distance of 27 kms, with 15 elevated stations and four underground stations which are linked in the shape of a circle with the Hua Lamphong-Bang Sue subway route, with the Purple Line at Taopoon and the Green Line at Bang Wa station.

Minister Pairin said three new train carriages will be put in service in next September which will help ease congestion during rush hours for the Blue Line. Currently, an estimated 300,000 people use the Blue Line each day.

He disclosed that the underground tunnel under the Chao Phraya river has been completed while the design of Sanam Chai station will resemble the hall of Rattanakosin era.

 

 

 

12 Feb 2018
10:22 pm

A member of the National Legislative Assembly said Monday that he would like the wildlife law to be amended to increase the penalty of illegal hunting or protected or endangered species of wildlife up to 10-20 years imprisonment.

Mr Sanit Aksornkaew, who is also a member of the natural resources and environment committee of the NLA, admitted that the penalty under the existing wildlife law was too lenient to deter wildlife poaching.

While the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is mulling amending the wildlife law, he said he personally wanted tougher law with higher jailterm of up to 10-20 years for poachers.

He added that regulations should be issued for government agencies to prevent abuse of power by senior officials to allow influential figures to enter wildlife reserves for hunting.

The committee led by Lt-Gen Chaiyuth Promsuk praised forest rangers for a job well done in their arrest of Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta and three other individuals for illegal hunting at Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site.

The committee has agreed to invite Thung Yai game reserve chief, Mr Wichien Chinnawong, and director of Wildlife Conservation Office Ms Kanchana Nittaya to give a briefing about the hunting scandal and the situation in the game reserve to the committee on Thursday.

12 Feb 2018
8:28 pm

The Kanchanaburi provincial court on Monday (Feb 12) held a pre-trial hearing of the 30-million baht First Prize lottery controversy in which a retired police officer and a school teacher have been claiming the ownership of the five winning tickets.

Before the pre-trial hearing, the court tried to convince the two rival parties, Pol Lt Charoon Wimon, 62, and Mr Preecha Kraikruan, 50, to settle their conflict without going through the lengthy court proceedings, but to no avail as both sides wanted to fight the case in the court.

Pol Lt Charoon Wimon

 

Mr Preecha Kraikruan

The court instructed the two parties to present their witnesses and, at the same time, set four issues for examination in the court.

The plaintiff, school teacher Preecha, presented a list of 15 witnesses while the defendant, Pol Lt Charoon, presented a list of 12 witnesses. The court scheduled May 1-4 as the dates for Preecha to present his witnesses to testify while Pol Lt Charoon is to present his witnesses to testify on May 9-11.

Charoon’s lawyer, Mr Natthapol Termsaithong, said he would present a list of additional witnesses within the next 20 days. He declined to name the additional witnesses.

He said that he did not feel heavy-hearted at all because his client, Charoon, was fully aware from the beginning that he was the real owner of the five winning lottery tickets of November 1 draw.

The school teacher is required to prove to the court the following four issues: firstly, that the plaintiff’s lawsuit has covered the four issues; secondly, that the plaintiff is the owner of the lottery tickets in question; thirdly, that the defendant has committed wrongful act against the plaintiff; and fourthly, that the defendant will be held accountable for the plaintiff or not.

Charoon told the media on Monday he was still 100 percent confident that he was the rightful owner of the lottery tickets and he believes that the court would be fair to him.
Preecha, meanwhile, said his only concern was that the media did not report accurately, adding that he was ready to meet the media any time if they had any questions.

12 Feb 2018
1:30 pm

Relevant government agencies need to have effective and sustainable prevention and relief measures to cope with the poor air quality in Bangkok as several mega infrastructure projects are now kicked off the ground in the capital, an academic says.

Rector of the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) Mr Suchatvee Suwansawat said construction of several mega projects which included electric trains, road extensions, and large condominium projects have contributed to an increase of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns, or PM2.5, in Bangkok.

Small dust particle from these construction sites has worsened air quality in the capital in addition to pollution from auto vehicles and burnings.

Mr Suchatvee’s advice came as Bangkok’s air quality dropped below standard with PM2.5 reached dangerously high levels in many areas during the past weeks.

Latest measurement of PM2.5 released on Monday (Feb 12) at 8am by the Department of Pollution Control (PCD) showed that the health-threatening fine particulate matter levels were still high, measuring at between 46-59 micrograms/cubic meter against the limit of 50 micrograms/ cubic meter. Areas where the PM2.5 level exceed the limit were Intharapitak and Lat Phrao roads.

The PCD projected that PM2.5 levels in all areas will be increasing this week due to cloudy and foggy weather condition in Bangkok.

It then warned patients and risk groups such as those having respiratory and heart problems to wear face masks to protect themselves when going out-door.

The KMITL rector urged relevant agencies to closely monitor the levels of small dust partiacle at the construction sites of mega projects in Bangkok.

“These mega projects are significant factors that affect Bangkok air quality and inevitably pose potential health hazards. Therefore, state agencies, notably the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration must close monitor the dust levels at these construction sites.

“In case of dust particles in any area reach critical levels, authorities should immediately issue warning to those held responsible to resolve and minimize the dust levels to safety level,” he said.

12 Feb 2018
12:42 pm

Former commander of the Fourth Army Region Gen Harn Leenanon died at Phramongkutklao hospital on Sunday evening (Feb 11). He was 93.

Gen Harn, also former agriculture minister, was well-known for his Tai Rom Yen (Peaceful South) policy which had successfully convinced communist rebels active in the south to defect to government authorities when he was in charge from 1981-1987 under the government of Gun Prem Tinsulanonda.

12 Feb 2018
12:08 pm

Former governor of the Bank of Thailand Vijit Supinit passed away on Sunday evening (Feb 11). He was 77.

He died from liver failure after suffering from blood clot.

Funeral ceremony is held at Wat Phra Srimahathat in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district for seven days before cremation.

Vijit served as the governor at the Bank of Thailand from 1990 to 1996.

He has been Dean of College of Business Administration at Siam University since 2007.

Vijit has been chairman of SGF Capital Pcl since February 14, 2017, and chairman of Apple Wealth Holdings Pcl since 2014.

11 Feb 2018
8:48 pm

Local administration officials in Phuket and Krabi provinces have been trying to tackle pollution problem in the sea at Ao Nang beach of Krabi and the sea at Traitrang beach in Pa Tong of Phuket.

Broken waste water treatment facilities have been blamed for the flow of untreated effluent from households and tourism-related establishments into the sea of both provinces which are popular destinations for both Thai and foreign tourists.

Mr Tossaporn Chotechuang, director of the environment unit of the Krabi’s Office of Natural Resources and Environment, said over the weekend that the office had sought permission from the Marine Department to build a new waste water treatment facility with 6.9 million baht budget approved by the Krabi provincial administration, but a permission has yet to be issued by the Marine Department.

Ao Nang beach in Krabi

He disclosed that two treatment tanks of the waste water treatment facility at Klong Chak which was operated by the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation had broken down, causing untreated waste water to flow into the klong and eventually into the sea at Ao Nang beach.

Meanwhile, Ms Chalermlak Kepsap, mayor of Pa Tong municipal, said that a new waste water treatment facility was under construction on the same location of the old one because the municipal could not find a new location for the facility.

Since part of the new facility was being built on the plot used as treatment ponds, it was inevitable that waste water which was already treated was released into the klong and eventually into the sea at Traitrang beach in Tambon Pa Tong, Krathu district.

Traitrang beach in Pruket

She however said that officials had been sent to check whether the pollution was caused by effluent discharged from the treatment facility of from somewhere else.

A long stretch of the Traitrang beach has been blackened with the effluent which also emitted foul smell, driving away many tourists.

 

11 Feb 2018
6:17 pm

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Sunday that it was the responsibility of security officers concerned to pursue former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra.

An image of the two fugitive ex-prime ministers was shown in the social media on Saturday reportedly while they were visiting Beijing to extend well wishes to the Thai people during Chinese New year the coming week.

It was not known when the picture was taken. However, Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Ms Paethongtarn, posted in her instagram account on Saturday the image of her father whose dress looked like the one shown in the other image together with Ms Yingluck, with a caption which read that Thaksin extended his well wishes to Thai people during the Chinese New Year.

 

Lt-Gen Sansern said that no special instruction had been given to security officials concerned regarding the images of the two Shinawatra sibings in the social media.

 

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd

He said the government had already had many things to attend to, but did not ignore the pursuit of the two fugitives.

This was the first public appearance of the two former prime ministers since Ms Yingluck skipped out of the country last August 23 – two days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was due to deliver a verdict on her concerning the rice pledging scheme.

 

11 Feb 2018
4:49 pm

The management of a resort on Koh Samui island has decided to remove the head of a Buddha statue from the beach in front of the resort following widespread criticism in the social media about is inappropriateness.

Cultural experts, accompanied by military personnel and local administration officials visited the resort in Tambon Bo Phud on Friday to investigate following the criticism in the social media.

They found the head of a Buddha statue being used as a decorative item positioned on the beach in front of the resort and informed the resort’s management that the positioning of the statue was inappropriate and could be deemed an affront to Buddhism.

The uproar stemmed from a post in the Facebook page of Saipan Saipan (สายป่าน สายป่าน) criticizing the resort for putting the head of a Buddha’s statue on the beach where many tourists usually sunbath and swim in the sea.

 

11 Feb 2018
4:26 pm

The Ministry of Transport has denied as untrue foreign press and social media reports that Japan has decided not to invest in the Bangkok-Phitsanuloke section of Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The ministry clarified in a statement that it was still in the process of talks with the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on the feasibility study of joint cooperation between the two countries in the development of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The talks have not yet touched on the investment aspect and Japan has not opted out of the project nor decided not to invest in the project, said the ministry in the statement, adding that the Japanese side is exploring a new form of investment which is appropriate and will cause less financial burden on the Thai government.

Regarding the speed of the high-speed train project in Thailand, the ministry said that although the standard speed of the Japanese train, Shinkansen, is 300 kph, both sides concurred that the lowering of the speed of the train project in Thailand would not make any difference about the investment cost nor the number of stations.

The feasibility study will attach importance to cost saving, particularly life cycle cost, said the ministry in the statement.
The ministry is determined to develop high-speed train project in a way which ensure the optimum benefits toward social and economic development and the distribution of prosperity to the rural areas so that people in the countryside will have access to safe, comfortable and quick mode of travelling.