North-South Expressway contractors face punishment if targets missed

November 01, 2022 - 09:07
Contractors who slow down the progress of the North-South Expressway project will be strictly managed with by the Ministry of Transport.


A section of North-South Expressway under construction.  — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng

HÀ NỘI ­— Contractors who slow down the progress of the North-South Expressway project will be strictly managed with by the Ministry of Transport.

In fact, several contractors violating the progress of the project have been repeatedly warned, criticised, and put under special monitoring.

If any contractor violates a signed commitment, the ministry will terminate the contract, revoke the guarantee and not allow participation in other projects.

According to the ministry’s latest report, six out of ten component projects of the North-South Expressway have not yet met their scheduled timetables.

Specifically, as of October 18, the Mai Sơn-National Highway 45 component project with a length of 63.4km has only realised 68.4 per cent of the contract value and is 1.4 per cent behind schedule.

The Vĩnh Hảo-Phan Thiết project has carried out 47.74 per cent of the contract value and is 5.3 per cent behind the adjusted plan.

In the Phan Thiết-Dầu Giây project, 53 per cent of the contract value has been implemented and is 1.33 per cent behind the adjusted plan.

The project of Highway 45-Nghi Sơn has realised 47.3 per cent of the contract value, 1.99 per cent behind the plan while the Diễn Châu-Bãi Vọt project has reached 11 per cent of its value and is 5.1 per cent behind schedule.

According to the ministry’s assessment, the five main reasons for the delay were difficulties in site clearance, abnormal weather, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, obstacles in procedures for licensing the mining of materials, and large fluctuations in the prices of construction materials and supplies.

In addition to the above reasons, a series of contractors were still sluggish in construction, affecting the process of the North-South Expressway even though the Project Management Board had issued warnings.

For example, at the Mai Sơn-National Highway 45 component project, some contractors have not yet made any move to speed up the construction although the Project Management Board had continuously urged, even with written warnings.

Contractors who were warned and put into special monitoring are Cường Thịnh Thi Construction and Investment Group, Tân Thành Joint Stock Company, Hoàng Long Construction and Investment Corporation, Miền Trung Construction Group, Tân Nam Construction Joint Stock Company and Transport Construction Corporation 8 (Cienco 8).

“The continuous delay in the construction progress was the subjective responsibility of the contractors. The delay was seriously affecting the disbursement plan, the time to road surface construction and the completion of the whole project as per the schedule set by the Minister of Transport," said a representative of the North-South Expressway Management and Operation Board.

Phạm Quốc Huy, director of the Vĩnh Hảo-Phan Thiết project, said that following the guidance of the Ministry of Transport, the project management board asked the contractors to sign a commitment to the construction plan.

Contractors that slow down the project will change their behavior or be replaced.

In order to speed up progress, the Ministry of Transport has implemented a series of solutions such as site inspections and organising weekly briefings with project management boards and contractors to review construction progress.

Contractors must control their progress daily, weekly and monthly so as to have plans to ensure the completion of the project according to the required schedule.

In the case of irreparable delay, the Ministry of Transport will add sub-contractors and strictly manage the contractors violating the provisions of the contracts.

The project management board was asked to closely monitor and evaluate project progress, and report to the ministry the contractors who do not comply with commitments so as to consider not allowing them to bid on the North-South Expressway project phase 2, or terminating their contracts and revoking guarantees.

According to Nguyễn Hữu Đức, an expert on transport construction, in reality, many transport construction businesses have the capacity to undertake the projects but they are participating in too many different works, contract packages or projects, so they do not spend enough resources on the new project.

Sharing this view, Định Trọng Thịnh, a senior lecturer of the Finance Academy, said that in order to ensure the progress of key transport works, the ministry should not assign businesses to implement too many projects at the same time and must carefully consider the overall volume of projects and a business’ capacity. — VNS