Sunday, January 24 2021


HCM City speeds up projects to improve quality of life for urbanites

Update: December, 01/2020 - 08:22


The first three-carriage train for HCM City’s Metro Line No 1, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực

HCM CITY — HCM City is speeding up urban projects in the suburbs and inter-regional areas, including major roads, in an aim to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

One of the key projects is Ring Road 3 connecting provinces and cities in the Southern Key Economic Region. The road passes through HCM City and Đồng Nai, Bình Dương và Long An provinces with a total length of about 89.3km.

It is expected to reduce traffic pressure on roads in the city centre, and shorten travel time between the city and provinces. However, only the first section of 16.3km, accounting for 18 per cent of the total length, has received investment.

The Government has approved a policy of compensation and resettlement for households affected by phase 1 of the Tân Vạn-Nhơn Trạch section of the Ring Road 3.

To speed up implementation, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc assigned the Ministry of Transport to urgently complete a feasibility study on key national projects for investment policy decisions and preparation this year.

Similarly, the HCM City-Mộc Bài Expressway project under a BOT contract is only in the phase of a pre-feasibility study. The 53km long expressway between HCM City and Tây Ninh will cost around VNĐ13.6 trillion (US$568.8 million).

The Prime Minister approved the Ministry of Transport’s proposal to give the HCM City People’s Committee the authority to be in charge of making investment decisions on the expressway project. The committee has completed the pre-feasibility study and will submit it to investment authorities.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has been asked to provide guidance on problems related to procedures for investment policy decisions, project approval, investment capital sources appraisal, and capital balance ability.

Recently, the city’s Department of Transport petitioned the People's Committee to ask the Ministry of Transport to approve building a road connecting Long Phước Street in District 9 with the HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây Expressway.

The connecting road is expected to reduce congestion around the area and boost the economy in District 9, which is part of the planned innovative urban area in the eastern part of the city. 

Meanwhile, work on Metro Line No 1 (Bến Thành - Suối Tiên) has reached 78 per cent completion, while Metro Line No 2 (Bến Thành - Tham Lương) has reached 3.8 per cent completion.

The city’s People’s Committee has proposed that the Ministry of Planning and Investment consider transferring foreign capital (ODA) from the central budget that has not been disbursed this year for projects to the Metro Line No 1 next year.

It also asked the Ministry of Finance to issue a document soon to extend the disbursement period to December 20, 2026, and the loan repayment schedule to the Germany Reconstruction Bank (KFW) to September 30, 2027 for the Metro Line No 2 project.

Long-delayed projects

Several large-scale projects have been delayed for a long time or are facing slow implementation, affecting the rights and interests of people.

For example, the Bình Quới-Thanh Đa urban area project has been delayed for more than 26 years due to prolonged site clearance and compensation issues, affecting the lives of thousands of local households. That led to one of the two investors withdrawing from the project.

Nguyễn Trung Anh, deputy director of Department of Planning and Investment, said the city is taking steps to organise bidding to find new investors for the project.

Similarly, the city’s Northwest Urban Area in Hóc Môn and Củ Chi districts has become less feasible because it has not attracted many investors. The city plans to adjust the Northwest Urban Area plan and organise a contest seeking ideas for the adjustments.

Planning of the new urban area in the southern part of the city is also being adjusted in some areas with high population density, as well as design for urban space along Nguyễn Văn Linh Boulevard.    

The city is urgently completing its overall adjustment planning to 2040, with a vision towards 2060, and then will submit it to the Prime Minister for approval.

By merging three districts 2, 9 and Thủ Đức, the city wants to create an eastern innovation urban area called Thủ Đức City. It is taking steps to quickly complete planning and form the new creative city in its eastern part.   

Another planned major project is turning Cần Giờ District into an ecological urban area in combination with the preservation of the mangrove biosphere. The committee has asked the Prime Minister to adjust planning for Cần Giờ District.

The city is also developing planning for the use of urban underground spaces in the existing downtown area of 930ha and Thủ Thiêm new urban area in District 2.

However, the planning of underground space faces many problems related to administrative procedures and legal regulations, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment, Nguyễn Thanh Nhã, said.

To remove problems facing investors, the department has proposed that the municipal People's Committee organise a contest to choose the best planning of underground space that meets the city’s requirements, he said. — VNS 

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