HCM CITY (VNS)— With funding tied up for three of HCM City's five metro lines, the use of the money is carefully monitored, the head of the city's urban railway agency, has said.
Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the Management Authority of Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCM City, speaking to the media on Monday, said Line No 1 would cost US$2.46 billion while Lines No 2 and 5 would cost $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion.
They respectively link Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Tourist Park in District 9; Ben Thanh with Tham Luong Bus Station in District 2; and Bay Hien Crossroad in Tan Binh District with Sai Gon Bridge.
MAUR also reported about the complaint by a Japanese contractor working on Package No 2 of Line No 1 about the long delay in handing over some of the lands required for the work.
It mentioned a delay in handing over the site by Di An town in Binh Duong Province, through which will pass the 17.1km Metro Line No 1 linking Ba Son Shipyard in District 1 with Suoi Tien Tourist Park in District 9.
Urban train project to resume
HA NOI — Director General of the Railway Project Management Unit Le Kim Thanh permitted China Railway Sixth Group (CRSG), Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban train's principle EPC contractor, to resume work on eight different locations.
The decision was issued after an inspection on fire hazards, labour and traffic safety had been carried out and the contractors was able to prove that all the required safety standards were met.
The railway authority also ordered the EPC contractor to speed up the inspection process on the rest of the project and submit the result to the Ministry of Transport.
The ministry also ordered contractors and sub-contractors to perform daily check for safety violations before they start to work, technical consultants must be present during the construction phase.
Technical consultants are authorised to suspend the project's operation should any safety violation were found and report them to the ministry immediately. — VNS
Cuong said the Di An town People's Committee has announced that the handover has been delayed by five months until March 2015.
But under the contract, his agency has to pay the Japanese party compensation of US$100,000 per day if any land is not handed over on schedule.
The Di An land lot, measuring around 2ha, was not handed over by a private company that owns it, officials said.
On December 16 last year the HCM City People's Committee asked Binh Duong Province authorities to persuade the Binh Duong-based one-member company Vinh Phat Co. Ltd. to hand over the site by December 31.
In a correspondence to the Binh Duong People's Committee, Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy chairman of HCM City, had said, "The HCM City municipal administration has big concerns over this issue because the continued delays in the handover of the site in Binh Duong Province's Di An Town have seriously affected the progress of the project and increasing the compensations to be paid to the contractor."
By the end of last year some 1,000 families in HCM City and Binh Duong had been relocated for construction of the metro route, which passes through Districts 1, Binh Thanh, 2, 9, Thu Duc, and Di An.
Vinh Phat Co. is the only one to hold out since its management has not agreed to the compensation of VND125 billion ($5.8 million).
On December 16 the Di An administration invited the company managers to the town office to announce the site handover, but they cried off claiming illness.
Cuong said the company had yet to agree to move out but the Binh Duong government decided to evict the firm and hand over the site in March.
He admitted that the compensation was "a must" for site handover delays, but wondered if would be HCM City or Binh Duong that would pay.
The Metro Line No 1 was originally scheduled to be completed in 2018, but delays in site clearance and handover have affected its progress, and it is now set to start operating in 2020.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the rescheduling of the work.
Construction would be completed in 2019 and the line would become operational in 2020. — VNS