An elevated section of HCM City’s Bến Thành – Suối Tiên metro line running along the Hà Nội Highway. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have pledged to help contractors speed up work on the first metro line between Bến Thành Market in District 1 and Suối Tiên Theme Park in District 9 so that it can be completed by the end of next year.
Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, Võ Văn Hoan, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the much-awaited metro has been long delayed due to a shortage of funds and issues related to land acquisition.
The project is expected to be 85 per cent complete this year, he said. “A joint effort is needed between the Japanese and the city governments to achieve the result.
“The contractors, design consultants and workers all play a role in speeding up the progress.
“The city will strive to ensure the project is completed by 2021 or even earlier,” he said.
Bùi Xuân Cường, head of the HCM City Management Board of Urban Railway (MAUR), said the target is to complete 85 per cent of the work this year and fully done by the end of next year.
Recently, the People’s Committee decided to reduce the cost of the metro by VNĐ3.4 trillion (US$146.8 million) after a review of all its related costs.
Hoan assured the cost cut would not affect the project quality.
The city has advanced VNĐ1.7 trillion to the contractors, construction units and workers so that the work could continue.
The line is the first of the city’s eight proposed routes.
It comprises four main packages and is funded in part through an official development assistance loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Since construction began in 2012, it has faced a multitude of problems, including slow funds disbursement and a personnel crisis.
It will run 20 kilometres through districts 1, 2, 9, Bình Thạnh, and Thủ Đức and the neighbouring Bình Dương Province. — VNS