|The city’s first two metro lines need an additional VNĐ52 trillion ($2.28 billion), causing the total to reach $4.2 billion. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY – The authorities of HCM City have asked the Government to increase investment in the city’s first two metro lines because of a capital shortage.
Construction of Metro line No 1 that starts near Bến Thành Market in District 1 and ends at Suối Tiên Theme Park in District 9 was approved by the city in April 2007, with an investment of VNĐ17.4 trillion (US$766.4 million).
At that time, approval by the National Assembly (NA) was not needed.
After investment costs were re-calculated by consulting agencies, costs increased to more than VNĐ47.300 trillion ($2.076 billion).
Additional budget was needed due to changes in the price of construction materials, an increase in the minimum wage, and changes in the exchange rate between Vietnamese đồng and Japanese yen, among others, according to city authorities.
The Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to urgently complete an adjusted funding assessment and establish a group of specialists from concerned ministries and agencies to ensure strict compliance with current laws and policies.
After approval on capital sources from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Transport will report to the NA on behalf of the government.
The Prime Minister agreed with the city’s administration to approve the project adjustments in August 2011. With investments reaching more than VNĐ47.3 trillion, the NA then had to approve the amount.
According to the city’s People’s Committee, the city signed three loan agreements worth VNĐ31.2 trillion, of which VNĐ11.93 trillion has been disbursed, accounting for 38 per cent of the total signed loan agreements.
After eight years, the project has implemented four bidding packages and completed 52 per cent of the work on metro line No 1, with most of the work on an elevated section and depot line No 1 completed, according to the city’s Urban Railway Management Board.
The metro line No 1 must be completed by 2020, according to the city’s plan.
As for metro line No 2, which connects Bến Thành market in District 1 with Tham Lương in District 12, the People’s Committee in 2010 approved a design by a local consulting firm, with total investment of $1.37 billion.
After re-calculation in August 2017, investment capital for the second metro line Bến Thành-Tham Lương also increased, from VNĐ26 trillion ($1.14 billion) to VNĐ48.8 trillion ($2.11 billion), after the completion deadline was extended from 2020 to 2026.
Thus, the additional investment for the first two metro lines amounts to VNĐ52 trillion ($2.28 billion), which has increased the total investment for the metro to $4.2 billion. – VNS