Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — Nearly 12,800 cards will be provided to residents living in the two central provinces of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh near the two toll stations on Bến Thủy Bridge before April 24.
Residents can use these cards and will no longer have to pay fees while passing through the two toll stations, Tuổi trẻ (Youth) online newspaper reported.
The move comes following repeated protests in the two localities recently. On April 9, residents requested both the Bến Thuỷ I and Bến Thuỷ II toll stations on Bến Thuỷ Bridge to be removed due to the high toll fee charged by Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investor Civil Engineering Construction No 4 Joint Stock Company (Cienco 4).
The company was reportedly collecting toll from vehicles that were not using the BOT sections.
Early this month, locals from Nghi Xuân District and Vinh City drove hundreds of vehicles covered with slogan-printed banners on Bến Thủy Bridge to protest against the high toll fee charged by the company.
The company is working hard to finish issuing the free cards to residents.
It is estimated that the company has fulfilled some 650-700 procedures of residents asking to get the card daily. Some 7,000 people have received the card, so far.
It is scheduled to finish before April 24.
Several residents also questioned why the free cards they were given were called reduction cards for six months, although the Ministry of Transport’s policy stated free cards were to be given to residents.
In response to residents’ questions, Võ Nghệ Sỹ, head of the BOT toll stations, said that under circular No. 35 issued by the transport ministry, the locals belonged on the list of those eligible for fee reduction.
"We reduced the fee down at zero đồng for the residents. This was why the card was labeled as reduction fee," he said. — VNS