The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is asking the cabinet to decide quickly whether to grant a concession extension to operate the Green Line electric train system before it pays the 40-billion-baht debt to Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), the operator of Green Line train services.
The move followed the release of a video clip by BTS Group Holdings on social media and on BTS Skytrains calling on the BMA and the government to settle the debt. BTS Group Holdings is the majority shareholder in BTSC.
In the clip, its chairman, Keeree Kanjanapas, called for the repayment of the debt, which he said has been overdue for three years.
Deputy Bangkok governor Wisanu Subsompon insisted yesterday the BMA has enough money to repay it. However, it was unable to do so now because it was concerned about the legalities associated with debt servicing and the extension of the Green Line concession.
The Green Line has two extensions, namely extensions 1 and 2. Extension 1 consists of the On Nut-Bearing section, while Extension 2 consists of the Mo Chit-Khu Khot section.
The 40-billion-baht debt includes 3.8 billion baht for the cost of hiring BTSC to operate the Green Line’s Extension 1, another 14 billion baht for hiring the BTSC to run Extension 2 and 19 billion baht for the electric train signalling system supplied by BTSC, said a source.
The debt concerning Extension 1 was incurred after the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ordered on April 11, 2019, to form a committee to negotiate with BTSC.