Use state budget for second Hanoi metro line's extra costs: PM
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked relevant agencies to seek state budget funds for extra costs incurred in the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line, instead of official development assistance (ODA).
At a Sunday working meeting on removing obstacles for the delayed project, the PM said getting additional ODA funds would require completing many complicated procedures involving many kinds of foreign currencies, different donors from different countries, and fluctuations in exchange rates.
The Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board (MRB) had proposed in May that the Nhon-Hanoi Station railway project be delayed for seven years and an extra capital expenditure of over $212 million be approved.
Work on the city's second metro project started in 2009 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2022.
According to the new proposal, the elevated section will become operational in 2022 and the full route in 2027, with warranty and payment settlement completion in 2029. The MRB also asked for the total project investment be increased to VND34,532 billion ($1.49 billion).
The PM said the investor, Hanoi authorities, consultants and contractors were responsible for the delays. He said project coordination has not been efficient and problems were not addressed in time.
Chinh asked for the elevated section to be completed by the end of 2022 and for the time taken for the underground section be half of what the project consultants have proposed.
The Nhon-Hanoi Station project, kicked off in September 2010, is just 75% complete, it has been reported.
The route is 12.5 kilometers long. It has eight elevated and four underground stations. The 8.5-kilometer elevated section will run from Nhon in Bac Tu Liem district to Cau Giay district and the four-kilometer underground section from Cau Giay district to Hanoi Railway Station in Dong Da district.
The project is being funded with ODA from the French government, French Development Agency, Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank and domestic counterpart funds.
According to a representative of the MRB, the project faces five major challenges. First, equipment contracts have seen both implementation time and costs extended due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed and disrupted manufacturing and importing of equipment and prevented the travel of specialists from Europe. Other problems include site clearance and disputes with international contractors due to delays.
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