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Sunday, May 16, 2021

HCMC terminates long-delayed BOT projects

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HCMC – HCMC authorities are reviewing and terminating the contracts of long-stalled build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, mainly infrastructure ones, prior to the expiration date.

On September 14, the municipal authorities made a decision to end the construction contract of the second phase of the Binh Trieu and Road BOT project prior to expiry as the project has been delayed for some 20 years.

The city also told the municipal Department of Transport to submit a report on the termination to the prime minister and seek his approval to allow the city to use its budget to continue the project.

The components of the Binh Trieu Bridge and Road project include expanding Ung Van Khiem Street with six lanes, building an intersection in Binh Thanh District, rebuilding Chu Van An Street and constructing the Ong Dau Bridge in Thu Duc District.

To date, HCMC Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII), investor of the project, which was set to require a total investment of some VND2.3 trillion, has completed a branch of the Ong Dau Bridge on National Highway 13 and partly paid compensation for site clearance works on Ung Van Khiem Street.

The HCMC government is also negotiating an end to the BOT contract of the Tan Ky Tan Quy Bridge project developed by IDICO Infrastructure Development and Investment Company. Work on the project with total capital of VND312 billion started in late 2017.

In mid-2018, IDICO completed 70% of the project before halting construction due to site clearance obstacles. The 225-meter bridge, which was set to be completed within six months, has been delayed for three years.

Many underground parking lot projects in the city are also facing delays, including at the Le Van Tam Park, the Trong Dong outdoor theater, the Tao Dan Park and the Hoa Lu Stadium.

In 2019, the HCMC Department of Transport announced an end to the contract of the Le Van Tam underground parking lot project. Underground Space Development Investment Corporation (IUS), the investor of the project, has yet to carry out contract termination procedures.

On June 23, the department repeatedly wrote to IUS announcing the termination and requesting the company to complete procedures to end the contract within 30 days since the date of the second announcement.

Meanwhile, the investors of the underground car park projects at Hoa Lu Stadium and Tao Dan Park have withdrawn from the two.

Associate Professor Dr. Nguyen Minh Hoa, former dean of Urban Studies Faculty of HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities, told The Saigon Times Online that the city should stop underground parking lot projects as they are not feasible.

Citing the underground parking lot project at Le Van Tam Park in District 1 as an example, he said that no one would park their car at the venue to walk to the center of the city as the distance was too long.

By Le Anh

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