|A view of Cai Lan Port from Bai Chay bridge in Ha Long City of the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh. Work started yesterday on a highway linking the city to a new bridge over the Bach Dang river in the port city of Hai Phong. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
QUANG NINH (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Saturday gave the order to start construction of a highway linking Ha Long city in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh to a new bridge over the Bach Dang river in the port city of Hai Phong.
The 19.5km highway will be built at a total cost of over VND6.4 trillion (US$300.8 million) from Quang Ninh Province's budget and other sectors. It will open in 2017.
The four-lane highway has been designed for vehicles to run at a maximum speed of 100km per hour.
When completed in 2016, it will shorten the distance between Ha Long and Hai Phong from 75km to 25km.
Dung hailed Quang Ninh's efforts in mobilising resources for the project. He said this was the first highway construction project started by a locality by mobilising local resources.
He said it was significant in economic, cultural and social development terms and also for security and defence for the province and the nation.
Dung praised the province for strictly complying with Government regulations on land clearance and compensation.
He said by time work started, all land clearance work had been fully completed. He also expressed his appreciation to the more than 900 affected households for co-operating with the project in the common good.
He asked the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies to facilitate work with Japanese partners so that an early start could be made on construction of the Bach Dang bridge that will link the Ha Long-Hai Phong highway to the Ha Noi-Hai Phong highway.
Work on Bach Dang bridge is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015. The bridge will be 5.45km long and cost VND7.2 trillion (more than US$342.85 million) under the build-operate-transfer form by Japanese group SE.
The new highway will help increase the flow of goods between Quang Ninh and northern provinces.
Dung also attended a conference in Quang Ninh to announce the province's seven strategic plans.
The plans, which cover the period to 2020 with a vision until 2030, include overall socio-economic development for the province, construction for areas within the province, tourism development, environmental goals, land-use, scientific and technological development, and human-resources development.
Dung praised provincial authorities and people for their remarkable achievements in socio-economic development. He cited the province's high annual GDP growth rate of 9 per cent - and the sharp decline to 2 per cent in the number of poor households.
At the same time, Dung urged the province to ponder its failure to take full advantage of its potential. As an example, he said agriculture contributed to only 6 per cent of the province's GDP, yet it used 40 per cent of the province's workforce, indicating that this mismatch was unsustainable.
He also said many issues related to environmental pollution remained unsolved, and labour productivity was still low.
Dung urged the province to pay special attention to administrative reforms so prospective investors would be impressed.
He also instructed the province to build a strong, transparent and effective political system, strengthen national defence and security, safeguard national sovereignty and promote relations with neighbouring China on the basis of friendship, and mutual respect. — VNS