128 projects approved


The Thai Cabinet met on Sunday in the first of its mobile Cabinet meetings in the Bank of Thailand offices in Chiang Mai and approved 128 projects for the north with an estimated cost of 300 billion baht (£7.68 bn; $11.76 bn).

The largest project approved was for a new high speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The project has received Chinese support and will cost around 230 billion baht (£4.65 bn; $7.12 bn) with a completion date of 2017 rather than the original 2025.

A further 180 kilometres of rail systems are planned along with other public transport projects. Around 150 kilometres of new motorway will be built between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai which should lead to journey times dropping from six hours to between three and four hours.

A trans-provincial road development project is planned with an estimated cost of 25 billion baht (£0.5 bn; $0.77 bn).

Other infrastructure projects include repairs to river banks and flood systems damaged in the recent floods, a water resource investment project and additional flood prevention schemes.

Tourism is also set to get a boost with a project worth 10.5 billion baht (£0.21 bn; $0.32 bn) as well as expansion schemes for Chiang Mai airport.

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