|An Sương intersection in District 12. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực|
HCM CITY — HCM City estimated that it would need nearly VNĐ324 billion (US$14 million) to carry out 172 traffic infrastructure projects in the 2016-20 period, according to the city’s traffic congestion and accident reduction programme.
However, the budget has met only nearly 27 per cent of the estimated demand while the capital outside the budget invested under public-private partnerships (PPP) has only met 13 per cent of demand.
Of the 172 projects in the period, 37 have been completed, accounting for 21.5 per cent. They include Phú Hữu Bridge on the Eastern Belt Road in HCM City's District 9; Phạm Văn Đồng Street, a street leading to Phú Hữu Port, and others. All these projects have been put into use to reduce traffic congestion at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, Cát Lái Port and the city’s other areas.
Construction on 65 projects has stopped, and the rest have not started.
The city Department of Transport said that the budget allocated to the department was low, leading to problems in implementation.
Trần Quang Lâm, head of the department, said that besides its low budget, the time for implementation is problematic.
Many projects have seen the implementation time double or triple compared to the regulated time because of difficulties in ground clearance. The projects have not been carried out as originally scheduled, Lâm said.
According to the city People’s Committee, calling for capital from private sectors and using the city’s investment sources for the development of traffic infrastructure have faced difficulties. The city does not have a complete system of belt roads and it still needs to invest in upgrading important highways and intersections as well as inner city streets.
The city has approved a budget allocation for several important projects to speed up their progress, and it is also petitioning the central government to approve increased expenditures for traffic infrastructure.
To attract investors, the city is developing a legal framework for the implementation of PPP projects.
The Department of Transport has submitted to the city People’s Committee a traffic infrastructure project by 2030. The total estimated capital will be more than VNĐ952 trillion. The city will give priority to use its budget for projects such as completing the Belt Road No. 2 and 3, building metros 1, 2, 3B and 5; and traffic works connecting to Tân Sơn Nhất Airport, and Cat Lái and Hiệp Phước ports. — VNS