NEW CITY NEWS 2003-present
This section contains news of the new city at Ban Nah/Nakhon Nayok.
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Residents of Nakhon Nayok's tranquil Ban Na district wonder whether Thaksin's plans to build a new city there will ever come to fruition...
New City project violates the constitution?
- translated and summarized from Manager Daily,
August 17, 2004
Premier Thaksin feels that the New City at Ban Nah project is going to violate the constitution which allows the land expropriation only for the public good, but not for commercial deals. He ask Mr Wisanu Kruea-Ngam (the deputy PM) to find the law to get around the constitution.
Six new satellite cities--masterplan
done in six months - translated and summarized from Siam Turakij, May 30-June 5, 2004
The Civil Works Dept has designated six provinces around Bangkok to become satellite cities for both Bangkok and the New City at Banna. The masterplan will be done in 10 months.
Thunyaburi is the twin city for the New City of Banna. Civil Work Dept is asking for 50 million baht to deal with the masterplan.
The six cities around Bangkok are:
1) Samut Sakhon - The fishery and agriculture town for many generations
However, it has to transform into food processing industry and the new fishery port connecting with Laem Chabang Deep Sea Port so that it is no longer necessary to distribute the processed seafood to Laem Chabang or other places by trucks. It will also cut down the traffic jam in Rama 9 Bridge - Bangna - Bang Pakong Highway and Sukhumvit Road. Transportation by ship will handle this job.
2) Samut Prakarn - a dense industry town
It has to be transformed into more livable city with much better safety from LPG gas explosions as well as other toxic materials by removing those toxic industries out of municipal areas. The
transportation of products from the factories in Samut Prakarn to NBIA will have to be drastically improved.
3) Nonthaburi - the twin capital with Bangkok
Needs another expansion for the residential area along Rangsit - Pathumthani and Tiwanon road.
4) Pathumthani - industrial/residential town
The area from Klong 1 to Thunyaburi will become a residential area and thus the twin city to support the new city at Banna.
5) Chachongsao - industry and agriculture town with some residential area
6) Nakhon Nayok - Banna District - the new city due to the beautiful environment
Only IT-software industry allowed here.
Traffic Policy Office is going to come up with new electric railway routes to support such major expansions as a new electrified commuter rail network to Nakhon Pathom, Mahachai, Mae Klong with new elevated track across Chaophraya, Thachin and Mae Klong along with a new railway track connecting Maeklong with the Southern railway at Paktho (Ratchaburi).
BTSC Skytrain extension to Samit Prakarn via Bearing and Samrong will be speeded up and the Hopewell revival from Bangsue to Rangsit will be realized as well. Furthermore the new railway tracks from Don Muang to the New City at Banna and from Makkasan to Newcity in Banna via Lad Krabang Chachoengsao and Ongkharak will be started as well.
The ticket price for the new commuter network will be 10 + number of km traveling.
Commentary by Wisarut: For such major expansions of mass transit system, the local assembly for EMU, electrified locos and subway rolling stocks as well as upgrading the steel mills to produce steel rails are a few first things to be done-- local assembly of signals or so will follow. Otherwise the cost of major expansion will be prohibitively high. [Ed.: Wisarut and other Thai watchers of Thai mass transit often hit home this point--that like other Asian tiger economies, Thailand must locally produce their own rolling stock. However, considering the murky, big money deals with major international suppliers that bring trains here, the incentive is for dealmakers to continue to send Thai baht overseas to Germany, Canada, or Japan for the cars.]
More New City news is here-> New City at Ban Nah
New City at Banna--the
resolution from the Council of State - translated and summarized from Matichon, June 2, 2004
[Ed.: See the map.]
The Council of State has finished checking the area for the New City in Nakhon Nayok. The land expropriation for the New City in Nakhon Nayok will cover 17 communes (tambons)
|1) Kaengkhoi District of Saraburi
1.1) Sam Phakphaew
1.2) Tha Maprang
1.3) Cha Om
1.4) Huay Haeng
2) Muak Lek District of Saraburi
3) Wiharn Daeng District of Saraburi
3.1) Charoen Tham
3.2) Klong Ruea
3.3) Ban Lam
|3.4) Nong Suang
3.5) Wiharn Daeng
4) Banna District of Nakhon Nayok
4.1) Khao Phoem
4.2) Sri Kra-ang
4.3) Ban Phrik
4.4) Pa Kha
4.5) Ban Na
4.6) Ban Phtao
4.7) Phikun Auk
The land expropriation will be done by the end of 2004 and the city planning will come to allocate which section will be the new government office, the roads, the residential areas, the new urban communities, the commercial areas, the business areas, the educational areas, the giant park, the golf course, etc.
The construction of the new city will start in 2005.
The area will start from the CRMA Intersection - the edge of Muang District, Nakhon Nayok - and the line will follow Suwannasorn Road (Highway 33 -> Hin Kong - Nakhon Nayok - Aranyaprathet). People can follow Suwannasorn road to Ban Na, Wiharn Daeng and Kaeng Khoi.
There is already 30,000 rai of land left over after the construction of CRMA and cadet preparation school. The area along Suwannasorn Road has a few villages while most of them are the paddy fields with hills not higher than 400 meters above sea level.
Three choices for commuter lines to Nakhon Pathom
- translated and summarized from
Than Setthakij, March 14-17, 2004
After Premier Thaksin promised the electrified commuter line to Nakhon Pathom, the Traffic Policy Office promptly come up with 3 choices:
1) Blue line extension to Nakhon Pathom via Phetkasem Road
2) Electrified double tracks from Bangsue to Nakhon Pathom via Southern railway and the Bangsue - Rama 6 Expressway
3) New standard gauge track (single or double track) with 3rd rail power along Southern railway from Bangsue to Nakhon Pathom via Southern Railway
SRT Governor said he has not received a clear policy from the government yet, so this should be handled by the Traffic Policy Office until the office has assigned which agency is going to handle this task.
The Traffic Policy Office said the section from Bangsue to Nakhon Pathom via the standard gauge with 3rd rail power supply and substation will cost the government 70 million baht/km for single track and 150 million baht/km for double track and the distance from Bangsue to Nakhon Pathom is about 60 km.
The second choice is the electrification of the existing double tracks from Bangsue to Nakhon Pathom. This one will need the electrification and the substations-- very good choice since it cuts much of the budget and land expropriation problem since they can use SRT land.
The third possible choice is to extend the Blue line subway from Bang Khae to Nakhon Pathom.
The Traffic Policy Office got the order from Premier Thaksin to come up with the commuter lines to the cities around Bangkok so as to create the satellite cities
Commentary by Wisarut: If the government really wants commuter lines to Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Mahachai as well as the New City and which can speed up to 160 km/hr,
standard gauge with 25 kV catenary supply is a must since the practical speed limit for meter gauge is 120 km/hr.
Further route details on four rail lines to the New
City - translated and summarized by Wisarut
1) The first section of the Green line will be double tracking from Bangsue to Rangsit (22.28 km) and then pass Future Park Rangsit to Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road (22 km)
2) The second section will turn right to become a single track from Lum Lookka Intersection to the new Motorway (3 km)
3) After passing the motorway, the line become a double track again and pass Thunyaburi and Nong Suea before reaching Ongkharak
4) The fourth section will follow Kaeng Khoi - Klong Sip Kao to reach Wiharn Daeng with elevated double track (25 km -> 23.4+1.6 km)
Total distance 94.94 km
1) This section will go from Bangsue to Donmaung - double track (14.74 km)
2) Turn right to through RTAF and then head to Khoo Khot and Lum Lookka - elevated double tracks (20 km)
3) After passing Lum Lokka, the line is still double track for 10 km and then become a 12-km elevated single track along the Motorway until it meets the Green Line. After passing the green line, it will become double track at grade until it reach Ongkharak
4) Follow the Railway track by using elevated double track to Wiharn Daerng (25 km -> 23.4+1.6 km) Total distance 87.54 km
1) The line will start from Bangsue to Lad Krabang via Yommaraj and as double tracks (44.024 km). The first 14 km is elevated double tracks and then another 9 km double track at grade and then elevated double track to from Lad Krabang
2) Then the line will go along Chalong Krung (the main street of KMITL) to pass Lad Krabang Industrial Estate, Lum Phakchee, Nongchok
3) Then going through the new short cut to Thunyaburi - Lum Lookka - with double tracks - through the double track at grade.
4) Then following the motorway to Wiharn Daeng. All elevated double track (25 km -> 23.4+1.6 km)
Total distance: 117.31 km
1) The line will start from Bangsue to Lad Krabang via Yommaraj as double tracks (44.024 km)
2) The line will follow the Eastern Railway to Chachoengsao and Bang Nam Priaw (37.55 km)
3) Going from Bang Mak Priaw Bang Nam Priaw through the new line to Ongkharak before ending up at Wiharn Daeng Kaeng Khoi--all as elevated double track (62.8 km)
Commentary by Wisarut: Makkasan station will be modernized to deal with the Airport Link in 2007. Delays have little effect on NBIA since the initial phase will be private cars, buses, and taxis. This 29 billion baht Airport Link will force SRT to elevate the Eastern Line while double tracking the rail from Hua Mark to Phyathai. There will be a single cargo line which will head to ICD. 100 baht for Airport Express from Makkasan to NBIA.
The initial phase of New City is supposed to handle 10000-2000 people since there is no attractive place to go (except for seeing nature). The limit on those who are residents in the center also make very few people want to go.
More on the transport routes to
the New City - translated and summarized
from Than Setthakij, March 4-6 2004
(Diagram: We are not sure of the source of this diagram. The background map is from the government planning department.)
There will be 1 motorway and 4 railway Lines for the system:
1) 6-lane Blue Motorway - Kanchanaphisek (Lum Looka) - Wiharn Daeng
This will connect with Ram Indra - Kanchanaphisek Expressway (extension of Ekkamai - Ram Indra Expressway). It will pass Lum Looka (Pathum Thani), Thunyaburi (Pathum Thani), Banna (Nakhon Nayok), and then be parallel with Kaeng Khoy - Klong Sip Kao Railway to pass Ongkharak and end up at Wiharn Daeng with total distance of 66.2 km and budget of 4.96138 billion baht.
2) Green Line Railway - Bang sue - Rangsit - Wiharn Daeng
This will follow the Northern Railway to Rangsit and then turn right to go to Klong Luang passing Thunyaburi, Kanchanaphisek Road, Motorway to Ongkharak and then following Kaeng Khoy - Klong Sip Kao Railway to Wiharn Daeng via Ongkharak and Banna - 4 sections - 94.94 km - 51.61405 billion baht (about 543.65 million baht/km)
3) Red Line Railway - Bang Sue -Lad Krabang - Wiharn Daeng
The line will follow the Northern Railway down to Chitladda and then go along Eastern Railway to Lad Krabang via Makkasan and then go across Rom Klao - Suwianthawognse - Lum Phakchee area, Thunyaburi and meet Kaeng Khoy - Klong Sip Kao Railway before Ongkharak station and then go along Keng Khoi - Klong Sip Kao line to end up at Wiharn Daeng - 4 sections - with total distance of 117.31 km (4 sections) and construction cost of 53.46292 billion baht
4) Yellow Line - Bang Sue - Donmuang - Khookhot - Lum Looka - Kanchanaphisek (Lum Looka) - Wiharn Daeng
This line will go from Bangsue to Donmuang and then pass Prem Pracha village before cutting through RTAF area to Phaholyothin and then passing Khoo Khot area and then Khookhot Lum Looka road to Kanchanapphisek Road at Lum Looka and then following the Blue Motorway to Ongkharak and then following the railway track to Wiharn Daeng - 87.54 km with the budget of 42.95214 billion baht.
5) Orange line - Bangsue - Yommaraj - Hua Mark - Lad Krang - Hua Tahkhe - Chachcoengsao - Bang Nam Priaw - Klong Sip Kao - Wiharn Daeng.
This line will go from Rangsit to Yommraj through the Northern Railway and then follow the eastern railway to Lad Krabang and then further follow the Eastern railway to Klong Sip Kao via Chachoengsao and Bang Nam Priaw. There will be 4 sections and the total distance is 144.88 km with a budget of 64.21251 billion baht.
This rail line must be electrified railway to enable the system to go from Bangkok to the New City within 1 hour with a speed at least 100 km/hr. Therefore, the yellow line is the best deal. This investment will be a joint venture with local private sector and foreign investors.
New railway routes and motorways for the New City at Ban Nah - translated and summarized from Siam Turakij, February 29-March 6 2004
The new motorway will go from Ram Indra to Wiharn Daeng via Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road (Lam Lookka) and Banna -> with a price of 4.96138 billion baht.
Of the the four new proposed railway routes to Wiharn Daeng only one will be constructed for now:
1) Green Line -> Bang Sue - Donmuang - Rangsit - Future Park Rangsit - Thaya Buri - Lum Lookka - Ongkharak - Ban Na - Wiharn Daeng
This line follows the Hopewell track from Bangsue to Rangsit and then turns right to Future Park and Thuya Buri toward Ongkharak. After that, the line turns left to Banna and ends up with Wiharn Daeng -> 4 sections - 94.94 km 51.61405 billion baht (about 543.65 million baht/km)
2) Red Line -> Bang Sue - Yommaraj - Phyathai - Makkasan - Hua Mark - Lad Krabang - Rom Klao - Minburi - Mooban Punya - Lum Lookka - Ongkharak - Ban NA - Wiharn Daeng
This line follows the Hopewell track from Bangsue to to Yommaraj and then turns left to Makkasan, Hua Mark and Lad Krabang before turning left to Minburi via Romklao Road and then goes along Minburi - Lum Lookka Road and then follows the Green Line from Lum Lookka to Ongkharak, Banna and ending up at Wiharn Daeng -> 4 sections - 117.13 km 53.46292 billion baht (about 455.74 million baht/km)
3) Yellow Line (this route is favored by the government) -> Bang Sue - Donmuang - Rangsit - Future Park Rangsit - Thaya Buri - Lum Lookka - Motorway - Banna - Wiharn Daeng
This line follows the Hopewell track from Bangsue to Rangsit and then turns right to Future Park and Thuya Buri toward the motorway to Banna and ends up with Wiharn Daeng -> 4 sections - 87.54 km 42.95214 billion baht (about 490.60 million baht/km)
4) Orange Line -> Bang Sue - Yommaraj - Phyathai - Makkasan - Hua Mark - Lad Krabang - Hua Takhe - Bang Nam Priew - Ong Kharak - Banna - Wiharn Daeng
This line follows Hopewell track from Bangsue to to Yommaraj and then turn left to Makkasan, Hua Mark and Lad Krabang. After that, the line will go to Hua Takhe, Bang Nam Priew and then turn left to Ongkharak and Banna before ending up at Wiharn Daeng -> 4 sections -144.88 km, 64.21251 billion baht (about 443.21 million baht/km)
The government will choose the Yellow Line since it is the shortest route, but if there is a cost overrun, the Green route will be chosen.
The masterplan for the new city will be done in 2005 -> 40% public land and 60% private land -> compensation paid at market prices of February 2004. By January 1, 2006 the infrastructure must be ready.
Commentary by Wisarut: I have come up with my own choice which is a combination of the four routes
since all four routes have shown that those at the Traffic Policy Office are out of touch with the people.
My route will be
1) Gold Line: Rangsit - Future Park Rangsit - Thunya Buri - Nong Suea - Ongkharak - Banna - Wiharn Daeng
2) Silver Line: Ongkharak - Nong Suea - Thunyaburi - Lum Lookka Rom Klao - Lad Krabang -
3) Copper Line: Lad Krabang - Hua Takahe - Changchoengsao - Bang Nam Priew - Klong Sip Kao Junction - Ong Kharak - Wiharn Daeng
Interchanges at Ongkharak, Rangsit and Lad Krabang.
Those who use the Red line commuter and Pink Airport Link are eligible to use their smart card tickets to the New City at Banna without having to buy other tickets.
The system must be the same at the Red line commuter and Pink Airport Link. The track from Yommaraj to Hua Mark must be elevated double track to ensure that the system will have the running speed guaranteed at 160 km/hr. The system for yellow line as well as other lines must be the same at the Red Line commuter and Pink Airport Link to ensure system interchangability.
..."We have mixed feelings over the project. We fear losing our land," said 72-year-old Rak Bamrungjit. "At the same time, we also want to see development within our community," she said.
More on the New City - December 17, 2003
Wisarut Bholsithi reports: According to Than Setthakij (December 17, 2003), the new city of Banna has sparked fury with local people from Tambon Cha Om since their area will become government offices within the New City. They said that the government has used a very outdated map (published in 1993) instead of satellite images. Furthermore, the expropriation price is very unfair. The government buys land at 100,000 baht/rai, but sells the developed land at 1,000,000-2,000,000 baht/rai. Therefore, the people ask the government to come up with a concession that allows former landowners to stay at the same old area until the construction plan in detail is done. Measures to prevent speculation must be effective. The government said they will use satellite image to update the data.
Nakhon Nayok people dreaming to be a new tourist area by the new city - translated and summarized from Prachachart Thurakij, December 1-3, 2003 The new city in Nakhon Nayok is still not completely defined yet, but the Governor of Nakhon Nayok has set up a team to handle the planning even though the government is just setting up the transportation projects to connect the new city with NBIA and neighbor provinces. Now the government is working on details on land usage even though the government just finished the preliminary details about the land usage.
The preliminary data said the 150,000-rai new city will cover 8 communes in 3 districts such as:
1) Banna District, Nakhon Nayok
1.1) Pa Sa, 1.2) Ban Prik, 1.3) Khao Khem, 1.4) Khao Phoem
2) Wiharn Daeng
2.1) Huay Haew, 2.2) Klong Ruea
3) Kaeng Khoy and Wiharn Daeng District, Saraburi
2.1) Cha Om, 2.2) Tha Maprang
50000 rai will be a residential area--mostly within Khao Khem commune and Cha Om district of Kaeng Khoy with the other 100,000 for other activities. Some areas will be reserved for tourism and agriculture to feed the city. The area around the city will be swamps and the mountains.
City planners in Nakhon Nayok still have no clue about the new city details. So far Nakhon Nayok will emphasize agricultural areas as well as the environmental tourism. There are already several attempts to rob the land from local people by coming up with fake maps. Even so local residences agree with this project since it will create a new tourist spot with high technology without pollution and set up a good example to other provinces.
The Governor of Nakhon Nayok is asking to set up a new committee to handle the project and communicate news about it to local folks.
Above: The second phase of development in the new city
The Traffic Policy Office has defined the two-phase development plan for Ban Nah new city--42,000 rai for the 1st phase including a new Grand Palace for His Majesty as well as infrastructure and transportation systems for the city while reserving 130,000 rai of land for green space. There will be seven steps to implement the plan to develop the new city in 6 years. The 2nd phase (78,000 rai) will include the residential development, commercial development, and workplaces so as to become a self-sufficient city with full circuit activities. The entire project needs 250,000 rai of land including land expropriation which should be at least 13 billion baht. After development, they will get a return of more than 75 billion baht.
The development will follow seven steps:
1) Permanent agency to push the development forward headed by the Prime Minister with a Royal resolution from His Majesty.
2) Creation of an agency which functions as an Urban Development Corporation in the same way such organizations execute the development of Putrajaya in Malaysia and Tama New Town in Japan.
3) The new agency handles the budget and financial resources for the new city.
4) The new agency starts land allocation either as land expropriation and land rearrangement.
5) Capital controls implemented to prevent another economic bubble.
6) Management plan and basic infrastructure be implemented.
7) Human settlement with a permanent agency to function as an administration office in the same way as the one in Pattaya.
Transportation lines for Banna New City will be as follows:
1) Ram Indra - Lam Lookka - Nakhon Nayok (60 km) with the new extension to Khorat (another 130 km)
2) Bang Na - Bang Pakong Highway Expansion with the new branch to NBIA and Motorway
3) New Cord line from Ban Pachee to Klong 19 via Ongkarak
4) High Speed rail from Bangkok (Bangsue?) to Khorat via Nakhon Nayok which will take 1 hour from Bangkok to reach the new city - 1 baht/km with 10 baht surcharge - thus about 70 baht a trip.
The government will invest in the rail while asking the private sector to rent the tracks and supply the rolling stock as the way to get around with the 1992 Joint Venture Act since private concession is bound with the act. However, the government has to specify to the private sector about how many trips a day with the government guaranteeing a minimum level of daily passengers. If the private section has done a good job, the government will give a tax break for them, but the private sector must share the revenue with the government in addition to the rent if the numbers of passengers increase.
The construction of the new city during the time of economic growth is a very normal activity since Bangkok gets 300,000 new citizens a year due to immigration (legal and illegal) and migration from rural areas and gets so big that infrastructure will be stretched to the limits. Therefore, the government has to come up with development of the new areas as a way to decongest Bangkok in the long term. Good cities should have not more than 2 million people.
The Civil Works Department and the City Planning Department said that the new city at Nakhon Nayok will cover 3 districts -> Banna (Nakhon Nayok), Ongkharak (Nakhon Nayok), and Wiharn Daeng (Saraburi) with a total area of 250,000 rai with a price tag of 100 billion baht, but the real development will be in 40,000-50,000 rai.
The other 200,000 rai will be reserved as agriculture areas and vacant area for future use. The developed area will have all power lines underground and there will be the land allocation for a financial center, commercial zone, vertical (condominium + mansions + apartments) and horizontal (houses for the well-to-do) resident areas, bureaucrat areas, working areas, industrial areas, educational area (new schools and universities) and a new palace for His Majesty.
The land acquisition will come from a Royal decree, land allocation with the participation from the former owners, land purchase by issuing bonds and setting up funds. Investment will come from private concessions paid by domestic and international investors on residential area developments, mass transit systems within the city, waterworks, electric power, and with the Development Company handling all the projects. The water will come from Pasak River and nearby areas to feed all the citizens.
The administration will be line Pattaya while the residential area will be both vertical and horizontal such as 100 square wah single houses, cluster houses of 50 square wah at cheaper prices than the private sector as well as 100,000 units of housing for about 200,000 lower income citizens which will be handled by the National Housing Authority and done within 6 years. The project will be started in 2004.
Above: The first phase of development in the new city
Defining the new city and land hoarding - translated and summarized from Siamturakij, Nov 30 - Dec 6, 2003 [We will be posting maps of the area of the new city soon.]
CP Group and Chang Beer have hoarded thousands of rai of land to be sold to the government--about 160,000 rai. Those who live within the campus of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy will have their land exappropriated--about 25000 rai. Even top brasses are hoarding land thus the locals feel scared that they will be evicted soon.
The New City project will be started in 2005 and done within 8 years. It will cover Banna Wiharn Daeng and Kaeng Khoy - no longer a need for Muang and Ongkharak District. The government will impose a Royal Decree to expropriate the land.
1) Banna District, Nakhon Nayok
1.1) Pa Kha, 1.2) Ban Prik, 1.3) Sri Kra Ang, 1.4) Khao Phoem
2) Wiharn Daeng
2.1) Huay Haew, 2.2) Klong Ruea, 3) Kaeng Khoy and Wiharn Daeng District, Saraburi, 2.1) Cha Om, 2.2) Tha Maprang
There will be 20,000 rai of land for residences. The other area which will be integrated into the new city is the CRMA--the area which has been expropriated for military usage since 1941 with size of 75,000 rai. 25,000 rai was used for military purposes and there other 50,000 rai were infiltrated by local people. The people who moved to that area after 1941 will be evicted with no compensation.
The exppropriated land of 165,000 Rai and the CRMA area of 25,000 rai will help to create 200,000 rai of land (with 10,000 rai from purchase at market price). Banna is the main gate while Ongkharak is just a passing track.
So far CP has purchased thousands of rai of land for chicken and pig farming for 5 years - initially a farm like Chong Charoen farm will have to borrow 100 million baht from the bank but now CP group has invested in that farm in such levels that this farm alone has thousands rai of land.
Sun Agro (owned by local politicians) has also set up a chicken farm there. 84 Co.Ltd. which works on chicken farming also expanded their business in Ban Prik, Khao Phoem, Pa Kha in Banna district and Kaeng Khoi and Wiharn Daeng district. Both companies must be within the CP Group and are thus aiming to go for those areas.
Beer Chang group has purchased about 10,000 rai of land around Wiharn Daeng district. Khao Kra Ang is also a main target for the land speculation. Colonels have hoarded the land around Ban Hin Dat (the 13th Village) of Khao Phoem commune as "Colonel Houses.".
Nakhon Nayok Governor has set up the committee to handle the new city so that the new city will allow no industrial factories to ruin the environment. Nakhon Nayok is an agriculture and environmental tourist town.
Now Klong Tha Dan and Nakhon Nayok-Kaeng Khoi Highway will be expanded to 4 lanes in 2004 and 2005 respectively to feed the new city.
Local folks in Nakhon Nayok feel very confused about the land expropriation and they ask the government to define the area to be expropriated as soon as possible even though the agree that the new city will bring more prosperity to Nakhon Nayok.Those who live in Khao Phoem commune of Banna say most people are working in agriculture and farming and receiving 60,000 baht a year. Now people in the whole commune feel scared if they have to abandon their old jobs after the whole commune is expropriated -> initially for the Lopburi-Maptaput Motorway, a new palace, as well as the university and government agencies.
Construction of Bangkok's satellite city should begin next year on a 150,000-rai land straddling three districts of Nakhon Nayok, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said... The city, tentatively called Muang Mai Nakhon Nayok (New Nakhon Nayok City), would be classified as a special administration zone, just like Pattaya... Mr Sita declined to name the three districts for fear of land speculation. However, a source said two of them were Ban Na and Ongkharak.
Earlier: Muang Sawan project (Celestial City Project) at Ban Nah - Naew Nah, September 30, 2003
New City: How to realize it - Bangkok Biznews, October 28, 2003
New City: How to realize it - by Pratheep Tangmatitham - translated and summarized from Bangkok Biznews, October 28, 2003
Plans for a new city to decongest Bangkok with the area of 200,000 rai have raised grave concerns about land speculation and the government has to come up with a plan to deal with it.
As my 30 year experience can tell, it is absolutely necessary to come with such a new city within one hour traveling time from downtown Bangkok. However, 200,000 rai is too small. People are the primary factors for the new cities, not 200,000 rai of land. Number of people is the starting point for calculations on traffic volume, water usage, wastewater, garbage, parks, schools, hospitals, malls, stadiums, etc.
How many Bangkokians are willing to move into the new cities without turning Bangkok into a ghost town as many American cities have experienced? 5-10% (1 in 10-20 Bangkokians) is a good ratio. Therefore, a new city should not be small at all. 290,000 - 580,000 people would form small towns scattered around Bangkok ('dormitory cities'), but not the new bureaucrat center as the government aims.
If the city is too small, there will be no good facilities. No sport, entertainment, or arts and culture facilities such as stadiums, theaters, art galleries, retailers, thus reducing much of the city's charms. It is very hard to attract people to live and work in new cities.
If the city is for 290,000-300,000 people, it will be the same size as Phuket -> 1 MP, 1 Senator. The density will be 1.45-1.5 people/rai (906.25-937.5 people/sq km). If the city is for 580,000-600,000 people, it will be the same size as Had Yai -> 3 MPs, 2 Senator. The density will be 2.9-3 people/rai (1812.5-1875 people/sq km).
Furthermore, the new city for hundreds of thousands of people will take 10-20 years to be completed, not just 5-8 years. The government has to come up with a masterplan and construct the roads, drainage, electric power, waterworks. If it uses a private sector joint venture, the government will get paid back very soon and the land allocation for the private sector will boost financial resources, create more jobs for Thai people, gain more tax revenue and create a new tourist spot like Putrajaya. If the government allocates 45% of land (90,000 rai) for residential buildings, offices, malls, entertainment centers, main stadium, theaters, schools, hospitals, universities, service facilities, it will boost the revenue to pay off the infrastructure and land compensation.
Purchasing 200 rai of land @ 400,000 baht/rai -> 8 billion baht
Land development and infrastructure @ 1 million baht/rai -> 200 billion baht
208 billion baht
45% Private Land Development @ 2 million baht/rai -> 180 billion baht
Taxes (VAT, revenue tax, business tax) -> 30 billion baht
Total income -> 210 billion baht -> break even
The new city must be able to handle the National Assembly, 20 ministries, and have a giant stadium for Olympic Games (minimum 100,000 seats), and exhibition halls.
For land speculation, the defense should be a line of ring forests, allowing land developers to develop the land around the forest rings, and then STARVE those who purchase agricultural land at very cheap prices and speculate for high prices from government purchase. The government will not change prices for the land to benefit speculators.
Commentary by Wisarut: The actual number of those who live in the Bangkok area (Nonthaburi and Paknam excluded) should be 6 million people or more. Since Nonthaburi already has absorbed 800,000 people and Paknam has absorbed 1.2 million people. The new city should at least be able to handle a million Bangkokians. MRTA will have to set up the subsidiary to handle the mass transit systems within the city.
200,000 rai of land for 600,000 people is fine. Not so sure if it is expanded to 1 million. The government has a long, long history of blunders in dealing with the planning of satellite cities.
Muang Sawan project (Celestial City Project) at Ban Nah - translated and summarized from Naew Nah, September 30, 2003
[No use even quoting the English-language dailies. They merely mentioned a new satellite project was in the works, it would not be an administrative center for the government, and the location had not been decided. The Thai-language press stated the new city would be at Ban Nah and would house some or all government ministries.]
The proposed new city in Ban Nah district of Nakhon Nayok is mainly for residence--not exactly a new bureaucratic center... only a small temple [which follows the example from Rama IX Temple] and a small Hospital [like Rama IX Hospital]. Small SME businesses allowed. No industrial estate or mall allowed in Ban Nah. The funding will be by bonds purchased by landowners.
If it is necessary to move all 20 ministries, it will require 1 million square meters of land while moving only the National Assembly will require only 200,000 square meters of land.
Mr. Korn [the head of the committee for selecting a new place for the National Assembly] warns House Speaker Uthai (who insists the area around Pasak Cholasit Dam in Lopburi is the suitable place for the new National Assembly): "The area around Pasak Cholasit in Lopburi is too remote! It needs another 1 million square meters to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people in addition to 1 million square meters for 20 ministries and 0.2 million square meters for the National Assembly."
However, House Speaker Uthai still cannot afford to drop the issue. His wife and relatives have purchased thousands rai of land around Pasak Cholasit Dam.
From internal sources, the government are likely to aim for Ban Nah which will consist of the land around Sri kra-Ang Commune, Ban Phrao Commune, Khaop Phra Commune, Phrom Manee Commune, Ban Yai Commune, Sarika Commune, Hin Tang Commune, and the neighboring area close to Saraburi (between Khao Phra Phutthachai and Khao Cha Ngok [CRMA and the Cadet Preparation Academy are there. ]) with a total area of 203,000 rai. The project would be named "Muang Sawan project" (Celestial City Project). There will be a new motorway from Ram Indra to Khorat--connecting with Ram Indra--at Narong Expressway to go to Muang Sawan (in addition to the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road). However, the government has not finalized this yet so as not to cause the panic and stampede from speculators.
UPDATE: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said the government is expected to finalise its decision on the city's location next year, denying speculation that it had already made a tentative selection of a site in Ban Na district, Nakhon Nayok province. (The Nation, October 1, 2003)