Construction work at the Trung Lương – Mỹ Thuận Expressway. VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
TIỀN GIANG — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the ministries and companies responsible for the construction of the Trung Lưong-Mỹ Thuận Expressway project in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang to ensure it’s completed by 2021 after a series of delays.
He made the request while inspecting construction progress on the expressway on Friday.
While the deadline must be met, quality must also be guaranteed, the Government leader said.
He also announced the approval of VNĐ2.18 trillion (US$93.94 million) from the State budget for the project.
Work on the 51.1km expressway started in 2015 under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model with investment of VNĐ14.7 trillion, and was initially expected to be completed in 2018. It was under the management of the Transport Ministry before the provincial People’s Committee took over.
The four-lane expressway starts at the intersection of Thân Cửu Nghĩa in Châu Thành District and ends at the intersection with National Highway 30 in HCM City’s Cái Bè District.
Once completed, the expressway will shorten the travel time between HCM City and the Mekong Delta, bolstering socio-economic development in the region and reducing congestion on National Highway 1.
A total of 3,292 households in Tiền Giang Province have been relocated to make way for the expressway.
The project was suspended in November 2018 due to difficulties securing loans and changes to public investment policies.
The same day the PM inspected a section of the dyke in Tân Thành Commune, which is prone to erosion.
During a meeting with local authorities from 13 provinces and cities seriously affected by erosion, Phúc said the Mekong Delta needed about VNĐ3 trillion (US$130.4 million) to address the problem, and that the Government would mobilise funding to support these localities in order to ensure safety.
The assistance would be sourced from mid-term investments in 2019 and Official Development Assistance.
Phúc asked local authorities to take immediate measures to prevent landslides and manage the allocated budget effectively.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, decreasing sediment flowing from upstream combined with increased sand and gravel exploitation and the impacts of climate change and rising sea water had made the problem more severe.
About 300ha of land and coastal mangrove forests are lost every year due to landslides.
The ministry forecast that drought and saline intrusion in the dry season would arrive earlier than usual with more severe impacts.
It has asked farmers to adopt the rice-shrimp farming model, start winter-spring crops early in October and plant high-productivity and high-quality seedlings which grow in quickly to reduce water shortages.
Local authorities must review regional planning, apply advanced technologies to solve the problem, reduce river sand exploitation and focus on forecasting, he said. — VNS