HCMC’s first metro line project in pursuit of opening to traffic by 2020

Construction businesses are expected to work at the highest intensity after Tet Holiday in pursuit of opening Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien, the first metro line project in HCMC, to traffic by 2020, said newly appointed head of HCMC Urban Railway Management Board Bui Xuan Cuong on January 14.
Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line’s stretch spans over the Saigon River (Photo: SGGP)
Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line’s stretch spans over the Saigon River (Photo: SGGP)

He was speaking at a meeting between deputy chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen and the board and relevant agencies and districts on the progress of the first metro line project and the second metro line project Ben Thanh-Tham Luong.

Mr. Cuong said that after he took office, the board has met contractors to listen to and solve their difficulties to speed up the work progress.

About 62 percent of the work volume has been done. In 2018, the project got stuck with legal procedures to adjust total investment capital so the Ministry of Planning and Investment did not allocate official development assistance funds for the city to build the route. The city had to advance VND1 trillion (US$43.05 million) on its budget for the project.

So far, the city has provided a total of VND3,273 billion ($140.96 million) in advance for the project. Of these, VND600 billion has been refunded.

In order to ensure payment for contractors of bid packages according to contracts, the board has proposed the city People’s Committee to continue advancing on its budget.

In reply, Mr. Tran Vinh Tuyen said that competent authorities have approved investment increase for the project. In the upcoming time, the city will create advantageous conditions for contractors to build the metro line. The board need to fully prepare necessary procedures and specific items for the city to consider advance.

Referring to the second metro line Ben Thanh-Tham Luong, Mr. Tuyen required districts to speed up site clearance and resettlement while waiting for investment capital increase approval.

In addition, he asked them to prepare consultancy bid packages to speed up the project’s progress in the upcoming time.