|A section of National Highway 6 in northern Hoa Binh Province often affected by landslides. A new investment plan proposed by the PM will see $118.2 million invested to upgrade roads connecting Ha Noi with the province. — VNA/VNS Photo Tung Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — The Transport Ministry proposed to the Prime Minister a new investment plan to build and upgrade roads connecting Ha Noi with northern Hoa Binh Province under a build-operate-transfer contract.
Over VND2.1 triillion (US$102 million) is needed to build a 30-km road running from the Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village in Ha Noi's Son Tay Town to National Highway 6 next to Hoa Binh City.
Another VND341 billion ($16.2 million) is needed to upgrade and expand the section of National Highway 6 that runs from Ha Noi's Xuan Mai Town to Hoa Binh City.
National Highway 6 is the only road connecting Ha Noi to northwestern provinces, but it is deteriorating and too narrow to meet increasing transport demand. However, access to State funding and overseas development assistance is difficult, according to the ministry.
In 2010, developer Ha Noi Import Export Joint Stocks Company (Geleximco) started the VND18 trillion ($857 million) Hoa Lac-Hoa Binh Highway Project with the construction of a six-lane highway that was expected to be completed this year, helping reduce pressure on National Highway 6.
However, Geleximco withdrew from the project last August, citing funding difficulties. At that time, the company had spent VND360 billion ($17.1 million) on the project.
Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong said that the road project would be more feasible if it was developed under a build-operate-transfer contract with all funding provided by the investor.
The investor would be granted the right to place two toll stations on Highway 6. Collection could begin immediately after the upgrade, which is slated for 2015.
One station will be set up on the Hoa Lac-Hoa Binh route with collection starting when it opens in 2017. The ministry proposed the Government apply a fee similar to that of National Highway 1's BOT projects, where the fare exceeded the cap imposed by the Finance Ministry by 3.5 times. With these conditions, investment could be retrieved within 29 years. — VNS