The Pak Bara deep-seaport project in Satun seems to have been revived after Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha made a commitment to pursue it under his administration's plan to launch a number of mega-investment projects.
The other projects under the seven-year strategic infrastructure development plan include railway projects that would improve metropolitan and inter-city connectivity.
Speaking about the controversial Pak Bara Deep Sea Port project on his weekly TV show on Friday, Prayut said: “I ask that conflicts in this area be halted. The government will help those affected by this project.”
Mooted for more than a decade, the project has been fiercely opposed by environmentalists and locals.
Prayut said the port would be Thailand’s gateway to the Andaman Sea, linking the country with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Among the major infrastructure jobs on the drawing board are the Seaport “A” development project, the Laem Chabang Seaport project and the phase-two extension of Suvarnabhumi Airport, allowing it to handle up to 30 million passengers a year.
In addition, the government plans to extend Phuket International Airport, allowing it to accommodate up to 12.5 million passengers annually, and turn U-tapao Airport into the country’s third international airport.
Thailand is cooperating with China and Japan in rail projects.
Prayut said all of the aforementioned projects were considered arteries for the country that would nourish the economy.
The government is forging ahead with all efforts to make these projects become a reality, he added.
“We must inform the public of what we are going to do and not let the people know afterwards.
“We will not do things without your consent or understanding,” he said, adding that the government will enhance the competitiveness of Thailand, making it the region’s
economic hub and a major player on the global stage.