An artist's impression of the C9 station of the Nam Thăng Long - Trần Hưng Đạo project, which is set to be built on Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, Hoàn Kiếm District. — Photo from Hà Nội Metro

This marks the second such proposal for this project submitted by Hà Nội's authorities to the Government in the past six months.

The total length of the route remains unchanged from the previous approval (11.5km). However, the elevated section is set to increase from 8.5km to 8.9km, while the underground section decreases from 3km to 2.6km.

Regarding the project's costs, Hà Nội proposes a new total investment amount of VNĐ35.588 trillion, equivalent to JPY¥200.744 million or over US$1.5 billion, up VNĐ16.033 trillion (about US$652.7 million) compared to the initial approval.

The two largest categories with increased capital are construction costs (increased by VNĐ6.676 trillion) and equipment costs (increased by VNĐ2.754 trillion).

In this proposal, the project will be put into operation by 2029 – 14 years later than the original deadline of 2015 – with two additional years for training, operation, and maintenance.

For the location of the controversial underground station C9 beneath Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street – which runs along the historic Hoàn Kiếm Lake – in front of the Hà Nội Electricity Corporation, and headquarters Hà Nội People's Council and People's Committee, the document states the plan for station is only adjusted in terms of its main body position and structure to ensure technical safety within the project corridor, after taking into consideration public and expert feedbacks.

The station will be located outside of the Hoàn Kiếm Protection Zone II boundary, with a length of 202.4m, a width of 15m, and a depth of about 31m.

Additionally, the construction plan for station C9 ensures no violation of the protected zone Hoàn Kiếm Lake, does not affect the safety of cultural works, and preserves historical, cultural, and architectural values.

The station will be equipped with two entrances and exits at the originally proposed locations. To have enough space for cooling tower placement, a 13m high ventilation system, and a power generator room, it is necessary to expand the auxiliary construction area on the land of the Hà Nội Electricity Corporation by 705sq.m (an increase of 260sq.m compared to the initially proposed plan) and additionally take about 25sq.m of land from the Hà Nội People's Committee.

Urban Railway Project No.2 – Nội Bài - Nam Thăng Long - Hoàng Hoa Thám - Bờ Hồ - Hàng Bài - Đại Cồ Việt - Thượng Đình – plays a particularly important role in connecting Nội Bài Airport to the city centre and serves as a central axis connecting the ring road.

The project uses ODA funds from Japan, approved by Hà Nội People's Committee in the Feasibility Study Report on November 13, 2008, with revisions stated in the dispatch dated December 12, 2016 from the Government.

According to Conclusion No.49 of the Politburo, Hà Nội must complete the remaining 405km of its metro system in the next 12 years, with an estimated budget of around $37 billion, or VNĐ850 trillion. — VNS