|Workers install concrete blocks in the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project. — Photo vietnamplus.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Transport Minister Dinh La Thang has said the construction of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Railway Project should be speeded up so that commercial operations could begin by June 30, 2016.
Thang said at a meeting, held to review the progress of the urban skytrain project in Ha Noi on Thursday, that the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Railway Project Management Unit and contractors must adopt measures to help road users avoid the risk of accidents.
Le Kim Thanh, general director of the Railway Project Management Unit, said about 58 per cent of the project has been completed so far and 50 per cent of the project's cost has been disbursed.
However, he said the implementation of the project faced difficulties relating to engineering, procurement and construction contracts, as well as the total estimated cost, the extension of time for preferential loan disbursement, and the setting up and approval of technical designs, manufacture of trains and purchase of equipment.
Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong said the ministry has asked the main contractor to speed up the construction process and make necessary adjustments after a number of incidents occurred on the project. Accordingly, the installment of 806 concrete blocks must be finished before January 31 next year; the construction of 10 stations will be basically completed before December 31 this year; the building of Cat Linh and Belt 3 stations must be done before March 31 next year; and the construction of the model La Khe station must be completed before October 15, 2015.
To speed up the project's progress, the transport ministry would send a group of people to work with the China Railway Sixth Group -- the project's main contractor -- to check the preparation of model trains before transporting them to Viet Nam, Transport Minister Thang said.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project broke ground on October 2011, and was expected to be finished by the end of 2015, with the trial phase set to begin in January 2016. But it has been delayed due to obstacles in site clearance and capital adjustment.
It was originally set to cost US$552 million, but that was revised to $892 million.
The 13km project will have 12 stations and a depot. It will stretch from Cat Linh Street in Dong Da District to Yen Nghia Bus Station in Ha Dong District.
Monorail model to be completed
The model of a monorail for the Cat Linh–Ha Dong urban railway project should be completed before October 15, Thanh said.
When the monorail model is opened to the public, people can view it and give feedback before all the trains are completed.
Comments on the model of the La Khe station, which is one of the 12 stations along the railway lane, are also being welcomed.
Thirteen trains will run on the railway line, with four carriages each. The cost of manufacturing these trains is US$63 million.
So far, 37 train drivers have taken training courses. More train drivers will be selected for the second and third round of training, to meet the demand.
The issues of construction safety and environment sanitation have been dealt with, Thanh said.
The builders were no longer facing problems with site clearance at all stations, and, therefore, the construction could be expected to be conducted as per schedule, Thanh said. — VNS