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Expansion of Hải Vân 2 Tunnel may lag behind schedule

Update: July, 13/2018 - 17:10
Construction work of the project on expanding Hải Vân 2 Tunnel in central Thừa Thiên Huế Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Việt
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN HUẾ — The People’s Committee of central Thừa Thiên Huế Province has asked Phú Lộc District authorities to hand over the ground for a project expanding the Hải Vân 2 Tunnel before July 15. However, the work may lag behind schedule, the provincial committee has said.

The Hải Vân Tunnel 2, which was built as a rescue tunnel for Hải Vân Tunnel No 1 in 2005, is being expanded to a two-lane, 6.29km-long tunnel to accommodate increasing traffic on the trans-Việt Nam National Highway No 1.

The expansion of Hải Vân Tunnel 2, which includes 5.85km-long entrance roads on either side, infrastructure and rescue lanes between the two tunnels, is set to cost VNĐ7.3 trillion (US$323 million). It is scheduled to go into operation in 2020.

However, in early July, only 25 per cent of the construction of the bridge and tunnel for Hải Vân Tunnel 2 was complete - when it should be 38 per cent. The reason of the slow progress was that some households obstructed the construction, claiming that the compensation for their land was not satisfactory.

Currently, the investor has received 18 out of 19 hectares of land, reaching 94.2 per cent of the project’s site clearance. As many as 18 households have refused to move, claiming that the compensation was low compared to the actual land prices. They have asked authorised agencies to re-calculate and apply a new rate of compensation.

To address this issue, on June 29, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment asked the provincial People’s Committee to consider a new rate of compensation. It would take 20 days to complete the procedure.

The provincial committee also mentioned the mass fish death in Phú Lộc District’s Lăng Cô Town. Last year, fish bred in cages in An Cư Đông 2 died en masse without a clear cause. Farmers blamed the incident on a discharge of wastewater from the overpass of Hải Vân Tunnel, and claimed compensation from the investor.

By this May, authorised agencies approved compensation of more than VNĐ5.3 billion (US$229,180) for 25 affected households. However, Phú Lộc District’s authority was slow at checking and paying compensation for these households, leading to protests from those who have not received the money.

The project also affected the water flow of Lăng Cô and Lập An lagoons, causing landsides for the surrounding areas. Roughly 400 households were reported to be affected, but many have not received financial support.

Local residents have asked authorised agencies to conduct an environmental impact assessment to get proper compensation.

To deal with the issue, the provincial committee has asked the management board of the project to work closely with local authorities to implement site clearance and pay proper compensation to those affected. — VNS

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