NA deputies support building bullet train

A majority of legislators has agreed to the government’s proposal to construct a high-speed railway linking Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, but many of them wanted the project delayed.

A majority of legislators has agreed to the government’s proposal to construct a high-speed railway linking Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, but many of them wanted the project delayed.

An image of bullet train, which does not exit in Vietnam
An image of bullet train, which does not exit in Vietnam

Of 474 National Assembly deputies polled, 271 approved of the project, while others had reservations or alternative suggestions.

From the “agree” group, some called on the government to conduct a feasibility study for the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route. Others suggested dividing the huge railway project into two sections.

The first route would commence construction in 2014 with plans to link Hanoi-Vinh and HCMC to Nha Trang by 2025, while the remaining section, linking Nha Trang to Vinh, would finish in 2035.

Others argued for delaying the project until the government determined the most appropriate route to suit the nation’s condition.

The NA’s decree also assigned the government to review the nation’s general traffic infrastructure to ensure the high-speed train project’s feasibility. The nation will prioritize a plan for splitting the project into two routes: Hanoi-Vinh and HCMC-Nha Trang.

The NA plans to announce resolutions to issues presented by the huge railway project at the closing session of the seventh assembly, on June 19.

The $56 billion high-speed railway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City project is expected to shorten the north-south railroad traveling time from 29 to just six hours.

The project will consume a total area of 4,170 hectares, forcing 9,480 households to relocate and another 7,049 to lose part or all their arable land. Land clearance compensation estimates are over VND30 trillion.

National Assembly deputies have clashed over the proposed project at the ongoing National Assembly session, focusing mainly on its US$56 billion price tag.

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