|Cát Linh-Hà Đông metro, during a trial run in late 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng|
HÀ NỘI — The State Council for Acceptance of Construction Projects at a recent meeting has approved the quality assessment results of Cát Linh-Hà Đông metro in Hà Nội, setting the stage for commercial operations of the long-delayed project.
The council members have reportedly spent time in the field inspecting the preparatory works for real-life operations as well as trial runs at the Cát Linh-Hà Đông project, the first metro in Hà Nội financed mostly by China’s ODA, but one that have been besotted by cost overruns, behind-schedule issues, and challenges in third-party acceptance.
They have also inspected the depots, the operations control centre of the project, different function rooms of some stations, the equipment at stations, and readiness issues (instructions for passengers, the ticketing system, and the signalling system).
All nine members of the council have voted in favour of the conditional acceptance results from the project’s owner – the Ministry of Transport – to allow the project to start the initial phase of operations.
Nguyễn Thanh Nghị, Minister of Construction, on behalf of the council, noted that the transport ministry must coordinate with Hà Nội People’s Committee and related agencies to inspect and do quality control on the entire system and other related components before the project is run.
The ministry is also asked to review the preparation of personnel and on-the-ground conditions to ensure the actual operation and the plans to handle situations that may arise during runs, especially ones related to findings by the system safety assessment consultant (the France-based Apave-Certifer-Tricc).
During the operation, the Hà Nội Railway One-Member Co Ltd (Metro Hanoi) will be operating the project in accordance with the approved operating procedures and approved rail planning, improve the proficiency of operators, provide sufficient instructions and guidance for the public in the initial stage of operations, given the new transport method, to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the project.
Metro Hanoi said it is readying conditions to receive the project and start commercial operations. The company has also reported to the Hà Nội’s authorities on the planning of the initial phase.
The acceptance of the project marks a new milestone in the project, deputy transport minister Nguyễn Ngọc Đông said.
A day ticket is set to be VNĐ30,000 for a person, with a monthly pass having different prices for each group of passengers - VNĐ200,000 for normal passengers, VNĐ100,000 for students and workers at industrial zones, and VNĐ140,000 for one person in 'bulk' passes bought by offices and companies outside of industrial zones.
The elderly, the disabled, children under six years old, poor households, and people with merits to the revolution don't have to pay for tickets.
The metro will be free of charge for 15 initial days, before commercial operations officially commenced.
In a meeting held earlier last week, Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thanh has asked the transport ministry to hand over the project to Hà Nội before November 10, 2021. — VNS