Vietnam News

Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line required to be completed by end of 2023

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The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has adjusted the expected completion date for its first metro line project to the end of this year, two years later than previously planned.

Post-construction work will last from 2024 to 2028. The contractor’s warranty period will last from 2024 to 2025 and the contractor will continue its operation and maintenance support from 2024 to 2028.

The city asked that the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Management Board (MAUR), the investor of the project, organize the execution of the project in line with the law and the approved schedule, ensuring its financial and socio-economic effectiveness.

MAUR was asked to draw up a detailed plan for carrying out the remaining workload and analyzing risks associated with the project.

The investor was also told to coordinate with the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, along with the Department of Finance, to ensure capital sources for the project and come up with solutions to prevent capital risks when items lag behind schedule.

MAUR will also be responsible for reporting issues of the project to the city so that the latter can direct departments and agencies to deal with the issues and take full responsibility before the municipal People’s Committee and other state bodies in case of further delays.

Meanwhile, the Department of Planning and Investment must work with the Department of Finance and relevant units to submit a proposal to the municipal People’s Committee to allocate adequate capital for the project.

The investor should choose a unit to assess and certify the route’s safety, seek the State Council for Acceptance of Construction Works’ approval for a draft acceptance of the project, and cope with the fallen rubber cushion used for a girder of a viaduct at the project.

Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railways No. 1 Co. Ltd. should be provided with capital to recruit employees operating the metro line.

The company used up its granted charter capital of VND14 billion (US$597,313) in August 2021, when its employees stopped receiving salaries and social insurance premiums, currently valued at VND6.7 billion ($286,157).

Up to 21 out of 36 employees of the company have quit despite a need for 706 laborers to operate and maintain the metro line.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has proposed that the Ministry of Finance handle the company’s financial problem.

Contractors have also asked Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railways No. 1 Co. Ltd. to dispatch human resources for training and technology transfer since last month but the company has yet to meet the requirement.

The first metro line project in Ho Chi Minh City was approved in 2007 with an initial investment of over VND17 trillion ($725.6 million).

Work on the project started in August 2012 and was scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The project saw its estimated investment revised up to VND43.7 trillion ($1.9 billion) and planned completion delayed to the last quarter of 2021 due to multiple bottlenecks.

The project was delayed further due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the late signing of an appendix of the consultancy contract.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh gave a nod to the delay to the expected completion of the project to the last quarter of 2023.

The first metro line is now 94.55 percent complete.

By Thanh Ha & Duc Phu – Tuoi Tre News – April 13, 2023

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