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Hanoi Party chief urges soon operation of long-delayed metro line to reduce losses

Hanoi's Party chief requested setting up a task-force to accelerate the launch of the city's first metro line.

Hanoi’s long-delayed Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line needs to start running as soon as possible to minimize losses, Kinhtedothi.vn quoted Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue as saying at a meeting on March 26.

 Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the meeting. Photo: Thanh Hai

Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line is not only one of Vietnam’s important infrastructure projects, but also has important foreign affairs implications, Hue said.

He requested setting up a taskforce led by a deputy minister of transport and a vice chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee as deputy head. It will comprise of members from relevant ministries to accelerate the appraisal, handover and launch of the metro line.

For his part, a leader of the Ministry of Transport said payment and settlement are the two main pending issues for the termination of the project.

Last year, the State Audit of Vietnam asked the investor to reduce the payment by VND175 billion (US$7.525 million) to the contractors and to negotiate with the general contractor to cut the payment by VND428 billion (US$18.4 million).

This, together with other requests by the State Audit of Vietnam are considered the major obstacles for the completion of the project, said the ministry official.

At a meeting with Hanoi city Fatherland Front on February 26, Vuong Dinh Hue said that the municipal government will work with the Ministry of Transport to remove difficulties for the railway project.

He added that the municipal government agreed on concentrating resources to speed up construction of the substructure as well as to solve other issues to put the overhead railway project into operation.

The Cat Linh - Ha Dong railway, which covers around 13 km, running between Cat Linh street in Dong Da district in Hanoi downtown and Yen Nghia bus station in Ha Dong district

Work on the line began in October 2011 and was originally planned for completion in 2013.

This metro line has 13 train sets with four carriages each. The trains are painted green and sport the image of Khue Van Cac, a symbol of Hanoi.

The total initial investment of the project was US$552.86 million (in 2008), including US$133.86 million from the Vietnamese government and US$419 million borrowed from China. However, it has been adjusted to US$868 million, with loans from China increasing by around US$250 million to US$669 million.