|HCM City is asking for the government's approval to accept a new engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor who would be responsible for moving technical infrastructure for the Metro Line No 2 project. — Photo thanhnien.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City is asking for the government's approval to accept a new engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor who would be responsible for moving technical infrastructure for the Metro Line No 2 project.
Line 2 links Ben Thanh station in District 1 to Tham Luong station in District 12 in the suburbs.
The city wants to look for a contractor while it adjusts the plan for Line 2 to help save time and ensure the project's schedule.
The HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways will submit its plan under a new bidding law passed by the National Assembly on November 26, 2013 to the Government for approval.
The Ben Thanh-Tham Luong metro section is 11.33km long.
It was originally slated to be built from 2010 to 2018 at a total cost of VND26.1 trillion (US$1.3 billion).
This amount included $540 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $313 million from the German Development Bank (KfW), $195 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and over $326 million from Viet Nam's reciprocal capital.
However, the project costs last year surged by 51 per cent to $2.07 billion after design revisions. That amount does not cover the Ben Thanh Station and its operation and maintenance costs.
The city's Management Authority for Urban Railways attributed the rise in costs to inflation, higher wages and prices of materials and an increased workload.
Due to adjustments for site clearance and compensation for construction of stations, work did not begin until early last year on the section's final station and control building.
The project is now expected to be delayed until 2019, one year behind schedule.
Total Official Development Assistance (ODA) disbursed from the beginning of 2015 until January 15, 2016 reached nearly VND108 billion ($4.8 million), and Vietnamese reciprocal capital was VND8 billion ($360.000).
Highway upgrade approved
In another development, the Government has given HCM City the green light to look for investors to upgrade National Highway No 22 on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
The 5km highway, also called the Trans-Asia-Road, connects HCM City with Tay Ninh Province and facilitates cargo transport from the city, the Mekong Delta and southern provinces to Tay Ninh and, through its Moc Bai Border Gate, to Cambodia and other countries
It thus plays a fair role in developing the southern region's economy.
It has called on the ministry to select just one investor and not two since that will then mean two toll booths. The national standard is to have a distance of at least 70km between toll stations.
The upgrade plan has been necessitated by the frequent traffic jams during rush hour due to the increasing number of vehicles on several stretches of the highways, especially at the An Suong-Cu Chi flyover section, HCM City and Moc Bai Border Gate.— VNS