The An Sương - An Lạc toll station in HCM City. Toll-collection suspension will take place at all BOT toll booths in the southern region. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Toàn
HCM CITY — HCM City has suspended toll collections at BOT (build-operate-transfer) toll stations to support the fight against the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The city People’s Committee on July 20 decided to temporarily stop toll collection operations at the An Sương - An Lạc toll station, Phú Mỹ Bridge toll station, Hà Nội Highway toll station, and toll stations on Nguyễn Văn Linh Boulevard in HCM City.
The committee sent an urgent document to request relevant departments and agencies, BOT investors, and toll road operators to strictly implement the halt.
The investors and operators are required to arrange staff to protect equipment and assets and ensure traffic safety at the toll stations, and have a plan to resume fee collection immediately after the halt is lifted.
They should also support employees affected by the halt and work with credit institutions to ask for debt rescheduling and extension of payment deadlines during the social distancing period.
The Department of Transport was assigned to supervise the toll-collection suspension activities.
The suspension will last until the city lifts social distancing measures under Government Directive No 16 or makes further announcements.
On July 19, the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) asked to temporarily postpone toll collections at all BOT toll stations in southern cities and provinces from July 20 to support the fight against the pandemic.
Discussions about the suspension took place among the people’s committees of these localities, BOT investors and toll road operators, as well as the Việt Nam Electronic Toll Collection (VETC) Company, Việt Nam Expressway Development and Investment Corporation (VEC), Việt Nam Digital Traffic Joint Stock Company, and Việt Nam Road Administration.
Toll stations in localities not affected much by the outbreak will only exempt tolls for vehicles carrying medical devices and equipment, medicines and essential goods.
Vehicles transporting cadres, medical workers and vulnerable people to pandemic-hit areas and people returning home from COVID-19 hotspots will also be exempt from the toll fee.
Transport departments in localities have been asked to monitor the suspension and restart toll collections only when their social distancing orders are lifted.
Besides HCM City, 18 southern provinces and cities are also applying social distancing measures under Directive No 16, including Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Cần Thơ City, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, Tiền Giang, Long An, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp, Bến Tre, Hậu Giang, An Giang, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng, Trà Vinh, Cà Mau and Kiên Giang. — VNS