Political battle for Bangkok to heat up

Political battle for Bangkok to heat up - Bangkok Post, January 2, 2006
...Mr Apirak's plan to launch a Bus Rapid Transit system, one of his election campaign pledges aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the city, also faced difficulties when the government rejected the BMA's request for the government to reverse a cabinet resolution which makes the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority the sole authority over bus routes.
In a bid to gain ground politically on Mr Apirak, the cabinet has assigned PM's Office Minister Newin Chidchob to oversee traffic affairs in Bangkok for the government.
Mr Newin, who was earlier assigned by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to oversee several ad hoc assignments, including the ''one million cows to farmers'' project, responded quickly to the trust put in him by the prime minister. He has proposed the ''roads of smiles'' project, which aims to provide parking space for taxis at government offices, department stores and in designated areas on the city's streets.
The project, which is due to kick off this month, appears to aim to compete with the ''smart'' taxi stand project launched by Mr Apirak in 2005...
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