|The T2 BOT toll booth in the Mekong Delta province of Cần Thơ was authorised to stop collecting fees in May, following protests by drivers. — Photo vietnamnet.vn|
CẦN THƠ — The Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) has proposed two solutions to the ongoing dispute about toll collections at the T2 BOT toll booth in the Mekong Delta province of Cần Thơ.
In a document sent to the Ministry of Transport, the DRVN said the T2 BOT toll booth, located on National Highway 91, stopped collection of fees beginning on May 25 after protests by drivers.
Many drivers who refused to pay fees said the location of the toll booth was inappropriate. Drivers travelling between Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces and An Giang Province had to pay fees at the toll booth even though they had travelled only a few hundred metres.
To solve the problem, the DRVN has proposed two options. In the first option, the DRVN would relocate the toll booth to the Lộ Tẻ 3 intersection at the connection between National Highway 80 and National Highway 90 in Cần Thơ City.
This option follows the suggestion of the An Giang Transport Association and drivers who travel between Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces and An Giang Province.
In the second option, the DRVN would keep the position of the toll booth and reduce the time of the fee-collection period. Details about the time adjustment have not been revealed. Drivers on the short route between Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces and An Giang Province, however, would still have to pay the fee.
The DRVN said that each option had advantages and shortcomings.
According to the DRVN, the Ministry of Transport plans to build an additional road in Long Xuyên City, which would help vehicles travelling between Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces and An Giang Province without passing through the toll booth.
Because of this additional road, the relocation of the toll booth, which would cost VNĐ38 billion (US$1.6 million), would be a big waste of money, DRVN said.
After careful consideration, DRVN said the toll booth would not collect fees until the additional road in Long Xuyên City is built.
To implement this option, however, the agency needs to work with banks to adjust the original debt repayment structure for the toll booth’s investor.
A solution to speed up the construction progress of the additional road will also be needed, according to DRVN.
On May 21, the T2 BOT toll booth was blocked by drivers who said they had to pay a fee for the entire route while only driving 300 metres on National Highway 91 to travel between Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces and An Giang Province.
On May 25, the Ministry of Transport suspended fee collection at the toll booth. After that, the issue was discussed at a National Assembly meeting but no solutions were proposed. — VNS