Author Topic: Light rail needs public input  (Read 18423 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Light rail needs public input
« on: August 29, 2019, 01:25:12 PM »
Residents angered by new SRT transit plan


The public hearing on the light rail transit system project in Nakhon Ratchasima (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Residents of Nakhon Ratchasima are being urged to participate in the public hearing process for the planned construction of a light-rail transit system in Muang district in order to avoid and prevent disputes with state officials in the future.

The governor of Nakhon Ratchasima, Wichian Chantharanothai, on Wednesday urged local residents to keep an eye on the design and construction of the light-rail project by the Mass Rapit Transit Authority (MRTA).

The state-owned rail operator had earlier infuriated residents with a plan to build a part of its double-track rail from Map Kabao in Saraburi to Thanon Chira Junction through Muang district -- a move which threatens to worsen congestion and split the area in two.

"People should participate in the hearing and provide their input on the matter to ensure development projects can run smoothly and prevent conflicts from arising in the future," said Mr Wichian at the first public hearing on the light-rail transit system on Wednesday.

The 8-billion-baht project is designed to provide Muang district residents with a fast and reliable means of transport between Save One Market, Ban Nareesawat, and the Welfare Protection Centre for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, according to the MRTA.

The route will have a total of 20 stations located near important venues, including the Nakhon Ratchasima municipal office, Suranaree Monument, Suranaree Wittaya School and Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University.

At Wednesday's public hearing, the MRTA introduced 250 participants who will take part in the public hearing process before announcing its intention to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to mitigate any negative impacts from the construction.

"It's nice that we'll finally get a transit system," said resident Chetsada Nakbamrungsi, who believes it will help cut costs for travellers.

However, Ms Chetsada said, many residents are worried about the construction in certain areas in the district where the roads are known to be very narrow.

"Without proper planning, the construction will lead to severe traffic congestion which will affect us all," she said.

Concerns about traffic congestion have also caused opponents of the State Railway of Thailand's dual-track rail upgrade between Map Kabao-Chira Junction to urge the state-owned rail company to adjust its design by building an overpass.

However, the MRTA dismissed the suggestion, saying that a design change would require a new EIA and also inflate construction costs.

Bangkok Post

 



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