|Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has called for drastic measures to accelerate the construction of the Ha Noi – Hai Phong Expressway to ensure its completion by mid-2014.— Photos VGP
HA NOI (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has called for drastic measures to accelerate the construction of the Ha Noi – Hai Phong Expressway to ensure its completion by mid-2014.
The construction of the 105-km expressway was kicked off in 2008 under a build-operate-transfer contract and should have been completed last year. It was expected to help reduce pressure on National Highway No 5.
However, to date, only half the work has been completed, said Dao Van Chien, chairman of the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stocks Company – the project investor.
The project has received a total investment of VND46.9 trillion (US$2.22 billion), but some VND18.4 trillion ($872 million) has already been disbursed so far.
The delays are partly attributable to the lack of capacity among the contractors, he said, explaining that some of them had failed to ensure they had enough staff and equipment for the project, so they hired sub-contractors, staff and machines at low prices.
Moreover, the contractors were unable to mobilise sufficient funding, so when payments to the sub-contractors became due, they were unable to honour those debts, and consequently, the sub-contractors delayed work on the project, he explained.
Contractors, in turn, blamed the delay on slow land clearance. At present, over 99 per cent of land clearance activities have been completed, with more than 1,400 hectares of land approved for construction.
Land clearance was not complete at 13 locations, including three locations in Ha Noi, two in Hung Yen, six in Hai Duong and two in Hai Phong.
Upon inspecting the work on the expressway late Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Hai asked the relevant parties to review the progress of the project and mobilise their financial and human resources to ensure the completion of the work by the middle of next year.
He noted that National Highway No 5 was bearing the brunt of a serious overload, with over 60,000 trips across it being made each day.
So far, funding and land clearance have been properly arranged, so now is the time for the construction companies to finish the work, he said.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang remarked that if any construction company failed to ensure the progress of their work as planned, they must supplement their staff and even have extra staff on hand. — VNS