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Hanoi, HCMC authorities blamed for delayed urban railway projects

In a report to National Assembly deputies, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has updated the progress of urban railway projects in Hanoi and HCM City.

Nhon-Hanoi Station urban railway put off until 2027-2029

The project investment is decided by the Hanoi People’s Committee. The length of the route is 12.5 kilometers, including 8.5 kilometers of elevated railway and 4.0 kilometers of underground railway. To date, 74.4 percent of the workload has been implemented and project completion has been put off until December 2027. 

The project uses loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), DGT, European Investment (EIB) and French Development Agency (AFD).

According to the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the project uses complex technology applied for the first time in Vietnam and units still don’t have experience. Bidding packages not only have to comply with Vietnamese laws, but also have to follow regulations set by donors. 

Meanwhile, the binding requirements under loan agreements are different depending on the donors; thus,  many problems have arisen during project implementation.

Site clearance in Hanoi faces with difficulties, while construction sites are on major transport routes of the city with heavy traffic, so it is difficult to execute works on cramped sites. Meanwhile, the sites are handed over partially, not at once, which has affected progress.

The handling of complaints of people during the implementation of the project has been influenced by the policies of the donors.

MOT also pointed out that the investor of the project and the project management unit in managing the project using complex technologies and funded by many capital sources have limited capability. 

Meanwhile, it takes time to follow procedures to adjust the conditions of the project since the project implementation time has been prolonged.

Regarding solutions to the problems, the ministry said the Prime Minister has set up a special task-force, and Hanoi People’s Committee has set up a working group to settle difficulties to speed up project implementation. 

At this time, involved parties are focusing on settling the problems related to the difference between the FIDIC contract and Vietnamese laws, and the problems related to the standards, norms, and unit prices of specialized equipment and others.

Nam Thang Long – Tran Hung Dao Urban Railway

This project investment is decided by the Hanoi People’s Committee. The total length of the route is 11.5 kilometers (8.5 kilometers  underground and 3 kilometers elevated, with 3 elevated and 7 underground stations. The project uses capital from JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) and reciprocal capital from Hanoi’s budget.

MOT said the project is also facing the same problems as the Nhon-Hanoi Station project.

The Hanoi People’s Committee is following procedures to adjust the investment policy, and is expected to be completed in September 2022. 

Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien urban railway in HCM City

The project investment is decided by the HCM City People’s Committee. The total length of the route is 19.7 kilometers (2.6 kilometers are underground and 17.1 kilometers elevated railway).

The time scheduled for project implementation is in 2007-2021. To date, 90.6 percent of the workload has been implemented. The time for execution completion has been put off until the end of Q4 2023. The project is developed with the loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The HCM City People’s Committee is cooperating with the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) to submit to the Government a plan on adjusting the project implementation time.

Ben Thanh – Tham Luong urban railway in HCM City

This project investment is decided by the HCM City People’s Committee. The total length of the route is 11.042 kilometers (9.091 kilometers are underground and 1.951 kilometers elevated). The project uses loans from ADB, EIB and KfW. The time for project implementation is 2011-2026.

To date, the execution of the CP1 bidding package on the office building and supporting works at Tham Luong depot has been completed. As for the other major packages, the selection of contractors is being done.

The HCM City People’s Committee is planning to ask MPI to extend the disbursement deadline and speed up site clearance.

According to MOT, investments in urban railway projects in Hanoi and HCM City are decided by local authorities, so all the instructions and administration of the projects are carried out by the municipal authorities of the two cities.

Luong Bang

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