The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has said that the high speed rail project, which will connect three airports in the country, will be delayed due to budget issues.

The budget for demolishing structures to enable the construction of the high-speed network has not been approved, reported citing SRT announcement. This will delay the first phase of the rail construction.

However, Transport Ministry permanent secretary Chaiwat Thong-Kamkoon told the publication that the budget will be allocated before the end of this year. He also said that the contractors for the demolition work had already been selected.

The high speed project involves building a 220km railway line to connect the Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and the U-Tapao International Airport. The project was approved in 2018 by the Thailand’s cabinet.

Once complete, the high-speed rail link will provide connections to five provinces, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong.

In October last year, the Thailand Government and the Charoen Pokphand Holding-led consortium signed a THB224.5bn ($7.4bn) agreement to build the project.

Overall, the project will include a 29km section of existing rail line and 191km of a new high-speed rail route. The new route will feature 181km of elevated track, 8km of underground track and 2km of surface track.

The Thailand government will fund 60% of the project.

Earlier this year, Thailand committed more than $21bn for the country’s railway network to improve connectivity and reduce pollution.