|A stretch of Ho Chi Minh Highway in Dak Lak Province. The Ministry of Transport has requested that BOT contractors complete the construction of the highway by May 2015. –– VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport ordered BOT (Build – Operate – Transfer) contractors of the Ho Chi Minh Highway project to speed up their assigned tasks or risk being replaced.
The decision was based on an inspection carried out last Saturday by a special task force from the ministry. The inspection covered a highway section crossing the Central Highlands that stretches almost 200 km.
After the inspection, the ministry gave warnings to Pacific Property and Infrastructure Development JSC for falling behind schedule in setting up depots for construction materials, according to Tien Phong (The Vanguard) newspaper.
The section is scheduled to be covered with asphalt before Tet, with priority given to parts of the highway running across residential areas, according to the Ho Chi Minh Highway Project Management Unit.
The Duc Thanh Gia Lai Group (DTGL), BOT contractor for the Bridge 38 – Dong Xoai section, was also given warnings for delays as well as failing to conduct necessary repairs on degraded areas of completed highway.
The group representative attributed the delays to difficulty in securing funding, saying that banks had only agreed to a disbursement rate of 75 per cent instead of the usual 85 per cent for BOT projects.
After conducting an on-site examination, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong did not find this reason sufficient. Truong said that if the contractor did not complete its section before December 31, it would lose the right to collect tolls throughout the route.
Nguyen Tien Dung, Director General of Duc Long Gia Lai Group, said the group was to complete 70 per cent of their workload (about 57 km) before the end of the year.
The deadline for Viet Nam Waterway Construction Corporation, Tranimexco and Pacific Property and Infrastructure Development JSC to make progress is November 20. The ministry instructed the project's Management Unit to replace these contractors if they failed to demonstrate progress by the deadline.
The ministry requested that the highway section over the Central Highlands be completed by May 2015 in a proposal already approved by the Prime Minister.
The Ho Chi Minh Highway begins in northern Cao Bang Province and ends in Ca Mau Province in the Mekong Delta. Stretching over 3,183 km, it links 28 cities and provinces. — VNS