Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Transport will inspect and discard unreasonable toll booths on build-operate-transfer (BOT) expressways across the country.
Statistics from the ministry showed 11 of 71 toll booths still failed to meet standards on distance nation-wide. According to regulations, the distance between two toll booths is designed to be 70km, but for some, the distance was found to be shorter than this specification.
In planning the removal of unreasonable toll booths the ministry would carefully weigh up the benefits to both BOT enterprises and road users, said deputy minister Nguyễn Hồng Trường.
Bùi Danh Liên, chairman of the Hà Nội Transport Association said although projects to construct bridges and roads under the BOT model have benefited road users, overlapping fees are unfairly distributed.
Liên said, for example, 4 toll booths were found on the 100-km expressway from Hà Nội to Thái Bình Province.
Responding to this point, Trường said drivers had many choices when travelling from Hà Nội to Thái Bình Province. Drivers could travel on the old National Highway No 21 and No 1 without facing fees.
If they chose to use the BOT expressway, they would have to pay a fee but it would cut their journey time, he said. The fee was calculated on the distance travelled, he said.
However, due to having 4 toll booths on the 100-km expressway section, the cost was higher than normal, he said.
Regarding the transparency of the BOT fees, Trường said the BOT fee for each expressway was carefully calculated by the ministry based on the income of road users and the capability of a BOT investor in paying the interest charged by banks on their loan.
As usual, funding for a BOT project would be mobilised from two sources: first, capital from the BOT investor, accounting for 15-20 per cent of the total capital investment; second, the BOT investor would borrow from banks, he said.
The BOT fee was set so that the payback period to the BOT investor was 15-20 years, he said.
Trường said the ministry has yet to make a plan to buy toll booths from BOT investors in the near future, for this due to budget constraints. -- VNS