Deputy Prime Minister urges swift action to ensure adequate sand supply for key infrastructure projects

April 08, 2024 - 06:22
According to reports from the HCM City People's Committee, the demand for sand stands at approximately 9.2 million cubic meters, while a reliable supply remains uncertain. 


The ongoing construction of a section of HCM City's Ring Road 3. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — In an effort to ensure a sufficient supply of backfilling sand for crucial infrastructure projects of Ring Road 3 in HCM City and expressways in the Mekong Delta, Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà has instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) to swiftly establish an interdisciplinary task force. 

This task force will collaborate with the ministries of Transport, Construction, and Agriculture and Rural Development to effectively resolve the sourcing of backfilling material. 

Additionally, they will engage directly with provinces in the southeast and southwest regions to apply mechanisms and policies for exploration, licensing and exploitation of filling materials for key transportation projects. 

The outcomes of these efforts are to be reported to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính by April 15.

Deputy Prime Minister Hà said that these initiatives are vital for driving socio-economic development and ensuring national defence and security in southern provinces and across the nation. 

This collective responsibility extends to all relevant ministries, branches and localities, including provinces and cities with projects intersecting with these critical developments.

On the matter of utilising sea sand as a filling material, the Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Transport, People's Committees of Sóc Trăng, Bến Tre and Thái Bình provinces and relevant agencies to disclose the results of a pilot project by April 10.

The MoNRE was tasked with issuing guidance and authorising local People's Committees to manage procedures for investor selection and sand exploitation licensing.

Regarding concerns raised by the chairman of the HCM City People's Committee about sand imports from Cambodia, the Deputy PM mandated the Ministry of Industry and Trade to lead negotiations with Cambodia on sand importation options, with outcomes to be reported by April 30.

According to reports from the HCM City People's Committee, the demand for sand filling for projects stands at approximately 9.2 million cu.m, while a reliable supply remains uncertain. 

This year, Ring Road 3 alone requires about 7 million cu.m of sand for construction, with HCM City needing around 4.7 million cu.m, so shortages are expected from the second to fourth quarters.

To address these challenges, HCM City's task force has engaged with six localities, securing commitments from Bến Tre, Tiền Giang and Vĩnh Long provinces to supply sand from 60 identified mines. 

These mines have undergone quality testing, with reserves tailored to each, and plans are in place to expedite operations for mines requiring licence extensions in the second quarter.

Despite these challenges, contractors have been urged to accelerate tasks not dependent on sand, such as drilling, piling, and bridge construction. 

Flexible coordination plans have been devised for the western belt area and parallel roads to mitigate potential delays. 

However, investor warned that failure to improve the sand sourcing situation by the end of the second quarter could significantly impact project timelines. — VNS