|VETC worker monitor vehicles driving through Cần Thơ – Phụng Hiệp BOT tollgate. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liêm|
HÀ NỘI — The Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) on Wednesday lifted the suspension of fee collection at three build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects.
The tollgates Cam Thịnh in Khánh Hoà Province, Phước Tượng – Phú Gia in Thừa Thiên – Huế Province and Cần Thơ – Phụng Hiệp in Cần Thơ Province were saved from the ban per the Ministry of Transport (MoT)'s orders.
Earlier this month, the directorate announced a halt to fee collections from 6pm on July 10 if investors failed to sign a contract appendix to set up the electronic toll collection (ETC) system with the Ministry of Transport (MoT).
BOT project owners opposed the order, citing the unreasonable ratio of revenue they are expected to give to VETC – the ETC service operator – as well as monitoring costs, expenditure and the requirement they would need to hand over tollgates to VETC.
During a meeting with the MoT on Monday, representatives of BOT projects said they had signed the appendix and were collecting fees automatically via the ETC system.
The installation of the ETC was expected to raise the expense of a BOT project, which resulted in the extension of the fee collection period.
After the discussion, Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Đình Thọ asked the DRVN to lift the suspension on fee collection at the four projects.
On July 8, the investor of Đức Long – Gia Lai BOT, which was also affected by the order, negotiated and signed a contract appendix to implement the ETC system at its two toll booths on National Highway no.14.
The suspension of fee collection at this project was then withdrawn.
The other three projects have also completed negotiations with the DRVN, allowing them to continue collecting fees at these tollgates.
According to the MoT, the ETC systems have to be deployed at all 44 BOT projects nationwide by the end of 2019 with investment of VNĐ1.7 trillion (US$73.1 million). —VNS