The Bình Triệu 2 Bridge in HCM City. The Bình Triệu 2 project approved by the then Prime Minister 16 years ago hasn’t been finished and continues to waste the State’s money.— Photo laodong.com.vn
HCM CITY — A project approved by the then Prime Minister 16 years ago hasn’t been finished and continues to waste the State’s money.
Bình Triệu 2 Project has been conducted under the build-operate-transfer format, but its investors and investment funds keep changing.
The project’s investor was Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No 5 (Cienco 5).
Phase one of the project was building the Bình Triệu 2 Bridge and the second is upgrading 10.6km of roads. The 4.5km Highway 13 in the southern province of Bình Dương is in the most need of repairs. It’s an important gateway connecting HCM City to Central Highlands provinces and the southern economic zone.
Total investment for the project was VNĐ341 billion (US$15.2 million).
Construction on the project started in February 2001 and was expected to finish in a year and a half.
But after three years, just the bridge had been completed.
Cienco 5 representatives said the cost of the project had increased to more than VNĐ1.2 trillion (US$53.3 million), because the fund for compensation had increased. The company could not continue to conduct the project, as it was too expensive, so it handed it over to HCM City authorities.
The HCM City People’s Committee in July 2004 asked the Prime Minister to let the HCM City Department of Transport become the project’s investor. The project would be implemented under the municipal budget.
The committee proposed the total investment in the project would be VNĐ1.6 trillion (about US$75.2 million). Of this, VNĐ1.2 trillion ($57.1 million) would be required for compensation.
The project was scheduled to finish in 2006.
The Government in November 2004 agreed to transfer the project to the HCM City People’s Committee.
A year later the committee passed the project on from the municipal Department of Transport to the HCM City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Company (CII).
Instead of finishing the project in 2006 as the city had planned, the CII started its work in 2007, dividing the project into seven sub-projects.
From September 2009 to August 2010 the CII implemented only sub-project No 3, which was upgrading Bình Triệu 1 Bridge. None of the other projects made any headway.
Dương Quang Châu, CII investment director, told Lao động (Labour) newspaper that the biggest difficulty was that the project’s total investment increased too much, whereas the city’s budget was limited.
From July 2007 until now, the project’s costs have continued to rise. Now it requires VNĐ5.5 trillion (about $244.4 million), 15 times more than first allotted.
As a result, Highway 13’s upgrades under sub-project No 1 haven’t been completed. The 4.5km highway, which is HCM City’s north-to-east gateway, is untidy and always jammed with traffic. — VNS