Transport infrastructure development in northwest not meet demand: officials

Update: July, 21/2017 - 22:00
The highways connecting Hà Nội with Yên Bái and Lào Cai, Thái Nguyên and Bắc Giang have been completed and put into operation. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Participants at a conference about developing transport infrastructure in the northwest region on Thursday in Hà Nội agreed that transport infrastructure construction has not met demand and thus has not yet created strong foundations for economic and social development.

Nguyễn Văn Bình, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, underscored the significance of the effort to complete important transport projects in the past, saying that such work will fuel socio-economic development and ensure national defence-security in the region and the country. 

However, he said there were still a number of shortcomings regarding the region’s transport infrastructure, with many becoming degraded and not yet proven to be socially and economically efficient. Many projects are lagging in terms of progress, causing difficulties for localities.

Deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region Nguyễn Cảnh Việt said due to its geographical characteristics, the northwest region often experienced heavy rains and landslides. Thus it is often difficult to conduct construction work and maintain transport infrastructure.

He said road transportation plays the most important role in the region with 3,718 out of 6,730km of national highway completed. 

The highways connecting Hà Nội with Yên Bái and Lào Cai, Thái Nguyên and Bắc Giang have been completed and put into operation while projects on the construction of Hoà Lạc – Hoà Bình and Thái Nguyên – Chợ Mới roads are underway. 

Meanwhile, railway, waterway and aviation transportation remain limited. With a total length of nearly 700km, the railway system is yet to meet demand. 

Bình agreed with nine measures and recommendations by ministries, agencies and localities to develop regional transport infrastructure between now and 2020. 

Bình stressed the need to accelerate the building of highways linking Hoà Lạc and Hoà Bình, Thái Nguyên and Bắc Kạn, Bắc Giang and Lạng Sơn City in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. The State Bank must direct commercial banks to offer more loans to the Hòa Lạc – Hòa Bình project. 

The transport ministry must improve procedures to build routes linking northern mountainous provinces with the Nội Bài – Lào Cai highway, accelerate negotiations on projects using official development assistance between now and 2020, including Lai Châu – Yên Bái, Yên Bái – Hà Giang and Lạng Sơn – Cao Bằng roads. 

It was asked to direct ministries and agencies concerned to soon complete procedures to launch the construction of the Lạng Sơn City – Hữu Nghị border gate highway. 

The ministry was assigned to partner with the ministries of planning and investment, and finance to arrange funding for the upgrade of Điện Biên airport and consider building Lào Cai airport in BOT model. 

Bình also agreed with a waterway upgrade plan, focusing on Việt Trì – Yên Bái route. 

The Vietnam Railways Corporation was urged to renovate technology, improve services and effectively tap existing railways in the region. — VNS