Concerns raised about north-south highway project

The project to build an expressway with total length of 1,372 kilometers linking the northern and southern parts of the country through 16 cities and provinces has sparked controversy among experts.

concerns raised about north-south highway project hinh 0

It is estimated that the project would cost VND312.435 trillion. With the Ministry of Transport’s (MOT) plan, the project will be implemented in two phases. The first, in 2017-2020, the new road sections of Mai Son (Ninh Binh) – Bai Vot (Ha Tinh), Cam Lo (Quang Tri) – La Son (Thua Thien Hue) and Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa) – Dau Giay (Dong Nai), with total length of 632 kilometers, would be built.

The expansion from 2-lane to 4-lane would be implemented for the Cao Bo (Nam Dinh) – Mai Son (Ninh Binh), La Son (Thua Thien Hue) – Tuy Loan (Da Nang) road sections with total length of 81 kilometers.

The total investment needed for the first phase is estimated at VND130.216 trillion.

In the second phase, in 2021-2025, the other road sections will be built and upgraded to the expressway. The total investment capital for the second phase is VND113.096 trillion.

MOT's report showed that the giant project has 20 component projects, of which 11 would be implemented in 2017-2020 and the other nine in 2021-2025.

Of the 11 projects in the first phase, eight would be carried out under the PPP mode, while three would be public investment plants.

The Ministry of Finance has found many problems in MOT’s plan. One of the problems is that MOT wants to assign VEC and CIPM, 100% state-owned corporations, to mobilize resources to implement component projects.

The problem lies in the limited financial capability of VEC and CIPM. The state budget now has to pay for due debts incurred by VEC because VEC is unable to pay. 

Meanwhile, CIPM mostly has been assigned to manage the project funded by the state budget.

Le Dang Doanh, a respected economist, said he does not advocate the plan to assign VEC and CIPM to implement component projects, saying that contractors must be chosen through bidding.

Bui Danh Lien, deputy chair of the Hanoi Transportation Association, warned that the  high toll and the high number of toll collection stations on the highway will burden transport enterprises and people. 

He said that state management agencies only try to protect the interests and privileges of investors but don’t care much about people’s interest.

Local newspapers reported that many drivers have been complaining about the high fee on BOT roads.

In protest, drivers paid toll fees in small currency notes at the Cai Lay toll collection station several days ago, causing traffic to come to a standstill.


Related news