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Jun 11, 2020 / 19:58

Hanoi’s first metro line must start running in 2020: PM Phuc

The order from PM Phuc came after months of reports that the first metro line in Vietnam is 1% away from completion.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested government agencies to complete and put key transport projects into operation in 2020, including the long-delayed Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line in Hanoi, Kinhtedothi.vn reported.

Particularly, PM Phuc requested the general contractors to speed up the progress and complete all procedures for key transport infrastructure projects, including the North-South Expressway, Long Thanh International Airport, upgrade runways at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports, T3 terminal construction at Tan Son Nhat airport.

 Date for official run of Hanoi’s first metro line remains unknown. Photo: Pham Hung

The PM stressed on key transport projects in 2020, especially the Cat Linh - Ha Dong railway. He asked the transport ministry to report all the project’s obstacles to the National Assembly for proper solutions.

The order from PM Phuc came after months of reports that the first metro line in Vietnam is 1% away from completion, and the Chinese contractor, China Railway Sixth Group Ltd.Co., has not yet finished paper work to hand over the line to the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport.

Earlier, at an April meeting with Hanoi's authorities, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also requested the Ministry of Transport and the Hanoi city government to thoroughly address all pending issues related to the Cat Linh - Ha Dong project and clear all hurdles to its operation.

He requested the Ministry of Transport to discuss with the Chinese partners to solve all remaining issues, especially the safety evaluation, by June 2020.

For his part, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The affirmed that his ministry had sat down with Hanoi’s leaders to discuss this project several times. The two sides showed determination to put the Cat Linh - Ha Dong railway project into commercial operation by September 2020.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line, which covers around 13 km, began in October 2011 and was originally planned for completion in 2013.

However, several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.

Project costs have more than doubled from the original VND8.8 trillion (US$553 million) to VND18 trillion (US$868 million), according to state auditors, applying the exchange rate at their respective timings.