Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể
Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể found himself in the firing line Monday as he opened the Q&A session at the National Assembly.
Thể was grilled by lawmakers over problems relating to transport projects invested under build-operate-transfer (BOT).
Meanwhile, Minister of natural resources and environment Trần Hồng Hà was asked to clear up issues relating to land management in big cities, environmental pollution and control of businesses’ waste discharges as well as measures to cope with climate change, especially in the Mekong Delta.
Following are some voters’ comments on the Q&A sessions.
Nguyễn Đức Hiền, Ỷ La Ward, Tuyên Quang City
Questions delivered by deputies are straight forward and very much focused on the pressing and urgent issues that voters are concerned about, such as the matter of land management at provinces and cities, the situation of environmental pollution, or enterprises’ waste discharge control.
I think Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà gave proper answers to the questions he was asked – he gave the reasons for the situations and offered specific solutions for those.
I think Minister of Transport Nguyển Văn Thể also did a nice job. He didn’t dodge any questions. Although he’s not been in the position very long, he answered all the queries well and was willing to take responsibilities for the shortcomings of the industry he leads.
Vũ Xuân Mạnh, Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng City
I think Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể showed us he was willing to listen to suggestions to make the transport sector better. However, he was unclear about the solutions for some problems raised at the Q&A session, such as the negative impacts and violations among BOT projects. I think the minister should aggressively address wrongdoings and violations in order to thoroughly tackle this matter.
Nguyễn Văn Hùng, Hưng Long Ward, Phan Thiết City
Issues like environmental pollution, illegal sand mining resulting in landslides along rivers, are still happening. Voters like me expect Minister Trần Hồng Hà to have more specific solutions for these problems. While he proved to understand all the matters and situations well enough, we want clear and specific measures.
Nguyễn Văn Niêm, Khương Trung Ward, Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội
Voters, just like any person in the country, have the right to doubt about the way that BOT road toll and toll collection duration were calculated in the past. The responsibility to explain such doubt belongs to the authority. We need to know if there are or there are not wrongdoings, any violations and any interested groups involved. People also have the right to ask the transport sector to rearrange BOT toll plazas in an appropriate way, and such acts must be conducted after the people have had the chance to speak up. There’s a need for a tight supervision mechanism for the BOT toll and BOT toll increase timeframe.
We hope that in the future the National Assembly would give people more opportunities to access balanced information about these BOT projects so we can effectively supervise the work of enforcement units.
Phạm Sanh, transport expert, HCM City
I’m not pleased with the answers of Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể. The reason people are not happy with BOT projects is because many of them are transferred many times among different investors, making the investment amount much higher than the original number. The transport ministry should be responsible for this situation. Who approved the projects? The minister also blame the Traffic Safety Committee for matters of traffic safety and blamed planning in the past for traffic congestion – that’s shirking responsibilities. — VNS