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Residents speak out over stalled bridge construction

Update: September, 04/2014 - 09:36
Over a year has passed since the deadline and the bridge consists of little more than a few pillars in the middle of the channel.— Photo giadinh.net.vn

NGHE AN (VNS) — Residents in Hung Nguyen commune of the central province of Nghe An have complained that the delayed construction of the Den bridge is wreaking havoc on their living standards.

The Den bridge project across the Thap channel was scheduled to be built in 18 months, from December 7, 2011 to June 7, 2013 by Trung Viet Ltd., Co at a total cost of more than VND35.1 billion (US$1.68 million).

Over a year has passed since the deadline and the bridge consists of little more than a few pillars in the middle of the channel.

"The constructing company had partly stopped the flow of Vinh river to build the bridge, and that badly affected the drainage," head of the local Ben Thuy drainage station Le Dinh Nam told Gia Dinh va Xa hoi (Family and Society) Newspaper.

"I am so worried for the residents when the rainy season is coming near and the drainage is not fast enough," he said.

Stopping the flow of the Vinh River has also caused transport problems. Boat owners have complained over the lack of signage and navigators to cross the construction site, while living conditions have deteriorated from pollution.

"I have not dared to open my windows for years because of dust and noise pollution. There was no way that the elderly, children and sick people could stand it. If this circumstance continues, my family might have to move to another place," said resident Ha Thi Van.

Full of money, lack of work

Trung Viet, the constructing company, received VND14.2 billion (US$683,000) from Hung Nguyen commune People's Committee in the first two years of the plan to build a section of the bridge worth VND6.5 billion (US$312,500).

The building has been on hold since last year and the company has kept the remaining sum of more than VND7.7 billion (US$370,000).

Head of Hung Yen commune's General Construction Management Board Nguyen Van Hao told the newspaper that there were valid reasons for the slow speed of the construction, such as the slow rate of fund disbursement, poor weather and the weak capability of the constructing company.

He also denied that Trung Viet Company had received privileges in receiving such a large advance of funds despite making little progress on the project.

"Giving the constructing company an advanced amount of VND14.2 billion (US$683,000) totally conforms to national regulations," Hao said.

He said that if Trung Viet was unable to finish the promised level of construction by the extended deadline of September 30, Hung Nguyen commune's administration would unilaterally terminate the contract. — VNS

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