Land expropriation slows down launch of Cambodia Thailand rail link
A spokesperson for Cambodia’s Transport Ministry says land expropriation issues are slowing down the launch of a rail link to Thailand. Va Simsorya told media sources in Phnom Penh that the government had not yet agreed compensation packages with people living near the line in Poipet.
He explained that about one kilometre of track in the border town is still unfinished and work cannot start until the residents living near it have relocated. The section of tracks linking Cambodia to Aranyaprathet in Thailand have already been hooked up.
The inauguration ceremonies for a rail link last used just after WWII were supposed to be staged early this year. Va Simsorya says the Transport Ministry cannot set the date until the resettlement issue is resolved and the tracks are completely laid.
Once the line is up and running, it will provide convenience for tourists travelling between Phnom Penh and Bangkok. Current transport options are bus or flight. The 12GO ASIA team notes that while bus tickets for travel between the two capitals are a little cheaper than those for flights, the latter take less than an hour to get there.
Architects and academics have united in a bid to persuade Thailand’s railway operator to save the nation’s heritage stations from the wrecking ball. King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Parinya Chukaew and leading architect Pongkwan Lassus say the country’s elderly rail stations have high cultural value.
The Meteorological Department of Thailand yesterday issued an adverse weather warning for the upper regions of the nation. A bulletin released by the department noted that extremely high temperatures from Bangkok upwards were the precursors for rain, hail and wind storms.
Thailand’s aviation authorities have warned that an increase in the number of flight arrivals for the Songkran Festival may cause delays at airports. Aeronautical Radio of Thailand says 10 per cent more flights are expected over the peak Songkran period between 11 and 17 April.