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Ho Chi Minh City
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Covid-19 impedes HCMC’s first metro line project progress

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HCMC – Due to Covid-19 and some other obstacles, the first metro line project in HCMC may be 81% complete by the end of this year, while the target for the project’s workload is some 85%.

As planned, the project would be completed and put into operation at the end of next year, the local media reported.

In a recent report sent to the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, the Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC (MAUR) — the investor of the project — has reported achievements and difficulties during the project’s execution.

According to MAUR, although the pandemic has shown complicated developments, hindering the immigration of foreign experts and import of materials, contractors have striven to complete some items, including clearing and connecting the entire line, completing the construction of the B1 basement and returning the construction site in front of the Opera House, receiving the first train car and preparing for the trial operation.

However, the project has faced multiple obstacles. Specifically, a contract with the consulting unit of the first metro line, NJPT, has expired and has yet to be renewed.

MAUR and NJPT have signed memorandums of understanding so that the later could continue its work. Nippon Koei Company, a member of NJPT, and NJPT have announced halting the consultation for the project until appendixes of the consulting contract are signed.

According to MAUR, the payments for contractors are huge, so the consulting unit needs to work continuously. In addition, the training of train drivers, moderators and the staff at stations has been interrupted, significantly affecting the plan to put the project into service late next year.

MAUR has proposed the HCMC government quickly approve the results of the negotiations of MAUR and NJPT so that the appendixes of the consulting contract can be signed soon.

Additionally, it is yet to be determined whether the remaining official development assistance loans sourced from the State budget for the project will be given in Japanese yen or the Vietnamese dong. As a result, nearly VND2.2 trillion has yet to be disbursed.

MAUR urged the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to provide consultancy to the municipal government so that the city can soon ask for the Government’s help to remove the obstacles facing the project.

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