Thursday, August 6, 2009

China forks out brimming remimbi for bridge but Thailand drags its feet on Thai baht

(KPL) The construction work of the fourth Lao-Thai Friendship Mekong River Bridge is still put on hold thanks to Thailand�s inability to disburse money for this huge undertaking, said a local official.
According to the Public Works and Transport Office of Bokeo, the Chinese and Thai governments would make a joint contribution of US$ 59 million to fund the construction of the 480 metre bridge, which would link Don village, northern Laos� Bokeo province, and Ing village, Chiang Rai province of Thailand.
Upon completion, the bridge would facilitate the communication between the three neighbouring countries, Laos, Thailand, China.
The Lao government would give four billion kip for the compensation to the local residents in the vicinity of the proposed bridge site, who will be relocated.
Mr. Thavone Vorabouth, Deputy Director of the 4th Lao-Thai Friendship Mekong River Bridge Construction Project, told KPL News yesterday that whereas China is ready to disburse its share of the cost but Thailand has not said when it would cough up the money.
�According to the schedule, the construction should commence at the end of 2009 and due for completion in 2013 but if the Thai government dragged its feet on this the actual construction date would have to be pushed forward, said Mr Thavone.
He also said that the Cooperation Committee, made up of representatives from Laos, Thailand and China had been making preparations for the bidding process and the bid envelopes should be opened in December 2009.

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