Solutions sought to speed up Metro Line No 1 project in HCM City
Representatives from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee on February 21 worked with consultants and contractors of the Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien Urban Railway Line 1 (Metro No.1) project in the city to discuss solutions to accelerate its implementation.
They checked the Municipal Theatre station – the tunnel section connecting the theatre with Ba Son and Phuoc Long stations. An inspection was also carried out at the construction site of rail assembly and welding on the line.
The construction of these stations is basically completed.
After their inspections, city leaders said they believe the project could be completed and put into operation by the end of 2020.
The joint venture of consultancy units and contractors said the biggest difficulties left are the approval to adjust the total investment and the delay of payment for completed items.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Metro No1 project links Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Tourist Park in District 9.
It is one of the eight metro lines of the HCM City Metro project managed by the city’s Management Authority for Urban Railways.
The project includes four major bidding packages using official development assistance (ODA) and funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
It was first proposed in 2001 as part of a comprehensive public transport plan for the city and neighboring provinces to mitigate traffic congestion and includes three monorail lines with a total length of 37km and six partly underground metro routes running a total of 107 km. Ben Thanh will be the hub connecting all the lines
Project adjustments were approved in August 2011 and after investment costs were re-calculated by consultancy agencies, costs increased to more than 47.3 trillion VND (2.1 billion USD).
According to the People’s Committee, the city has signed three loan agreements worth 31.2 trillion VND. By now, 62.5% of the construction work has been completed.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said municipal authorities will continue to work with central agencies and ministries to seek additional capital to pay contractors, and direct relevant unites to hasten the disbursement.
He requested the city’s departments and sectors to support the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways in issues related to legal procedures for project adjustment, extension of contract implementation time; propose solutions to swift disbursement for contractors, and help with the technical design evaluation of the project.
Phong asked for the completion of 80% of the work in 2019, towards completing the project at the end of 2020.
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