Metro-Line No. 1 nearly complete
At a meeting between JICA sponsor and HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) on the progress of Metro-Line No. 1, Mr. Bui Xuan Cuong, Director of MAUR, said that this unit is continuing to coordinate with related units to accelerate construction of the next items on the project, such as installing rail systems, electro-mechanical systems, and signal systems along the entire route and completing equipment installation at stations, ensuring 85% completion of the project in 2020, and striving to put the project into full operation by the end of 2021.
MAUR thanked JICA for their support and suggested that JICA continue to coordinate, support disbursement and repayment in advance; reminded Japanese contractors to speed up project; proposed that the Japanese government take measures to assist Vietnam in allowing foreign experts to enter Vietnam; and import of the Metro Train. Mr. Cuong said that MAUR hopes that JICA will accompany, support and promote the achieved results, speed up construction progress, and bring the project to a finish line soon.
The project of constructing the Metro-Line No. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City from Ben Thanh Market to Suoi Tien Theme park over a length of 19.7km, which includes 2.6km underground and 17.1km on elevated area, with 14 stations, three underground and 11 elevated stations, began in August 2012, with four main bidding packages. In recent days, a team of experts and engineers of the Hitachi contractor have conducted final technical inspections in Japan, before transporting the train parts of Metro-Line No. 1 to Vietnam.
Currently, this project is more than 70% complete in which the underground section from Ben Thanh to the Opera House Station has less than 30% work left to do. The underground section from Ho Chi Minh City Station to Ba Son Station is around 80% complete and the CP2 package with high section and depots has completed nearly 85%. Package CP3, which is procurement of electro-mechanical equipment, locomotives, rails and maintenance is 52% complete.
Specifically, at the Opera House station, in one of the two underground stations of package CP1b, the workers and engineers on site are conducting sanding, paving of stones for the road structure, and preparing to remove the barrier in front of the Opera House. Construction items on the B1 floor of the station are being urgently implemented by contractors such as floor tiles, wall tiles, columns, ceiling construction, escalators, and electro-mechanical systems, to soon complete the B1 floor for people to visit.
Flood-Control project to finish by October
The project consists of six large tidal control sluices with apertures of 40-160m in Ben Nghe, Tan Thuan, Phu Xuan, Muong Chuoi, Cay Kho and Phu Dinh. In addition, the project also has five crucial embankments of 7.801km length. The project was built with the goal of controlling tidal flooding, actively responding to climate change for an area of 750 sq. km with about 6.5 million people on the right bank of the Saigon River and the City Center.
According to a report of the Trung Nam Group, the total cost of the Flood-Control project is nearly VND 10,000 bn. This project is part of the plan named "Solving tidal flooding in Ho Chi Minh City Area-Phase 1". It has presently completed around 77% of the tasks and the construction site will be handed over in June, with the project expected to complete by October this year.
Mr. Nguyen Tam Tien, General Director of the Trung Nam Group, said that the total construction of the project is around 77% complete. The most difficult item was the underwater construction which is now complete, and the workload left is mainly equipment installing. The loan disbursement too has been cleared. Currently, the construction site maintains 1,200 workers and engineers focused on accelerating the progress of work.
However, the current obstacle is still land clearance. The area of Muong Chuoi sluice gate in Nha Be district, poles, valve towers and valve girders have been completed, but embankments with sluice gates and auxiliary works are under construction. In this area, there are still 18 out of 62 households who have not handed over the construction ground as yet, though investors have transferred compensation money to households and organizations affected by the project.
Mr. Hoang Tung, Chairman of the People's Committee of Nha Be District said that the locality is conducting payment of compensation to households, which is expected to be complete in early June. Meanwhile, Binh Chanh district is also making efforts to speed up land clearance work which is currently only 66% complete.
Mr. Tung said that it was worrisome that Nha Be district is currently constructing a large-scale jetty. This project is overlapping with the Flood-Control project. The project was approved by the governing body but the construction was not allowed and now there are many items encroaching the Saigon River. Local authorities are coordinating with the Department of Construction to inspect and handle these violations.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, assessed the Flood-Control project costing VND 10,000 bn. He believes it is a project of utmost importance to the people of Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. Phong welcomed investors who had advanced capital to ensure the progress of this project, and at the same time requested districts to urgently complete clearance of land and hand over the site for early completion of this vital and essential project.