HÀ NỘI — The planned pilot run of the first elevated train in Hà Nội next month will be delayed amid lagging construction progress and financial difficulties.
The railway connecting Cát Linh and Hà Đông was initially scheduled to have its pilot run in early October before it officially opens to the public in the second quarter of next year. But transport deputy minister Nguyễn Ngọc Đông admitted after a survey trip to the project last week that it was "almost impossible" to meet the deadline as several sections of the railway project were still under construction.
The railway’s sub contractors said that the main contractor - China Railway 6th Bureau Group - was late in paying them and responsible for letting the construction falling behind schedule.
Đông said that the project was facing financial problems, too, as more than US$250 million in loans from China to build the railway were yet to be disbursed due to legal issues.
"The Ministry of Transport is co-operating with relevant parties to conclude the matter and to obtain the capital for the project as soon as possible," he said.
He also said that the main contractor in the meantime must keep pace with the schedule it previously committed to.
The transport ministry would soon ask the Chines embassy in Việt Nam to work with the China Railway 6th Bureau Group on the issue, Đông said. — VNS