September, 13 2012 10:40:13

Ambitious expansion outlined for HCM City

HCM CITY (VNS)— New commercial centres and residential areas are expected to be built near 11 stations on HCM City's Metro Line No 1, according to the city's Urban Planning and Architecture Department.

The HCM City People's Committee has asked the department to map out an urban development plan for areas along Ha Noi Highway and around Ben Thanh Market, based on the plan to build stations for Metro Line No 1, which links the market in District 1 with the Suoi Tien Area in District 9.

Under the master plan for the route, it will have a central station located under Ben Thanh Market area and 10 stations along the route.

More than 10 residential and commercial areas would be developed along it.

Nguyen Dinh Hung, deputy director of the city's Urban Planning and Architecture Department, said the new metro stations would not only serve as stations but also as commercial centres with nearby residential areas.

He said the Government's planning and economic development policies would help set up these new residential areas and commercial centres.

"HCM City's Urban Railway Management Authority is responsible for construction of the metro stations, while capital for construction of the commercial centres and residential areas will come from the private sector," Hung was quoted by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper as saying.

The commercial centres and residential areas would be built from 300 to 500 metres from the stations, creating favourable conditions for residents to walk from their homes to the centres and metro stations.

Short bus routes will also be scheduled to carry passengers to the metro stations.

According to the railway management authority, the study for the first station has been completed and sent to relevant ministries and agencies for consideration. It will then be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Construction plan

The first station is located 25 metres under Quach Thi Trang Square, an existing bus station and part of September 23 Park.

The station would have several levels, with the upper level to house business facilities and the lower levels the common station for four metro lines: No. 1; No 2 linking Ben Thanh Market with Tham Luong in District 12; No. 3a linking Ben Thanh with Tan Kien; and No 4 from Thanh Xuan in District 12 to Hiep Phuoc Port in Nha Be District.

The Urban Planning and Architecture Department said the area around Ben Thanh Market was well-developed and would not need new facilities.

The second station would be built under Nguyen Hue Street, the third in an area near Ba Son Shipyard; the fourth in Van Thanh Area; the fifth near Sai Gon Bridge; and the sixth in the Thao Dien Area.

All these stations would be in urban areas that have not been fully developed. Thus, the areas would need upgrading to match the development of the new metro line and the stations along it.

Metro lines

The railway management authority said the city would also focus on urban planning and investment for new residential areas along Metro Line No 1, from the seventh to 11th stations, because there was little of development in these areas.

On August 28, HCM City broke ground for its 20km Metro Line No 1, which runs through districts 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc and Di An Town of Binh Duong Province.

The first 17.1-km stretch of the route is the 11-station overhead section, running from Ba Son Shipyard in District 1 to Suoi Tien Park.

Market to shipyard

It also consists of a 2.6-km underground section connecting Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard, with three undergound stations.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2017 and the first metro line will become operational in 2018, according to Nguyen Do Luong, head of the railway authority.

He said the line would transport 186,000 passengers per day when completed in 2017, 620,000 passengers per day by 2020.

Planning for the 11.3-km line 2 calls for it to run from Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2 to the Tay Ninh Bus Station in District 12, with 9.6km of it underground.

HCM City authorities have also approved the basic design for Line 3A from Ben Thanh Market to Tan Kien, and Line 3B from the Cong Hoa Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Hiep Binh Phuoc in Thu Duc District.

Line 4 would run from Lang Cha Ca Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Van Thanh Park in Binh Thanh District.

Line 5, stretching some 17km, would run from Sai Gon Bridge in District 2 to Can Giuoc in District 8.

The six-km-long Line 6 would run from Ba Queo in Tan Binh District to Phu Lam in District 6.

The city said it had accelerated works on the city's metro projects, aiming to bring the entire network into operation by 2025. — VNS

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