Errors attract disciplinary measures in HCM City’s first metro line project

24-Aug-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A dozen individuals and organisations in District 1, HCM City, have been held accountable for their shortcomings in the process of developing the city’s first metro line, which connects the downtown Ben Thanh Market with Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

Chair of District 1 Nguyen Van Dung sent a report to the HCM City government on the action to be taken against those found responsible for compromising the project, following a report issued by the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) last December.

The chair held a meeting on August 13 to look into the shortcomings and errors, largely made by the Compensation and Site Clearance Board of District 1 and District 1 Public Services Co., Ltd

The former head and deputy head of the compensation board, Le Quoc Cuong and Tran Quang Cuong, were among those considered for disciplinary action. Le Quoc Cuong was earlier charged with abusing his power and position while on duty.

Other individuals under the microscope are leaders and officials of various divisions of the board.

According to the SAV, the HCM City People’s Committee was named for overstepping its power in making adjustments to the metro line’s investment plan.

A 2010 resolution issued by the National Assembly requires all public projects with total investment of VND35 trillion (US$1.5 billion) or more to be approved by the legislature, due to their national importance.

Despite this, the municipal government made the decision in 2011 to raise the project’s capital from the initial tally of nearly VND17.4 trillion to more than VND47.3 trillion, without seeking approval from lawmakers. It did so without clarifying where the additional capital would come from or assessing investment efficiency.

The SAV estimated that the project’s adjusted cost should have been only VND29.2 trillion, due to escalating prices and other changes. However, its actual costs rose by more than VND18.1 trillion.

The Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCM City blamed the cost increase on changes in construction material prices and minimum wage increases between 2006 and 2009.

The SAV demanded the city government recover more than VND2 billion for the State budget.

The sum includes some VND1.6 billion for a fund that provides compensation to households whose land was reclaimed to make room for the project, roughly VND350 billion for the relocation of the statues of hero Tran Nguyen Han and heroine Quanh Thi Trang, as well as nearly VND46 million for the demolition of a construction site at No. 39 Le Loi Street.

The SAV also found that the board had misallocated compensation of more than VND22 billion for six components, due to their miscalculations of locations, project area sizes, prices and volumes.

The Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line stretches 19.7 kilometers between districts 1 and 9. It consists of a 2.6-kilometer underground section and a 17.1-kilometer overhead section, with three underground and 11 elevated stations.

The route was initially scheduled for completion in 2017, but the deadline had to be extended to 2020, owing to problems with compensation, site clearance and long delays in capital allocations.

Once in place, the route is expected to relieve traffic congestion at the eastern gateway of HCM City and boost the sustainable development of the southern economic hub. percente2 percent80 percent99s-first-metro-line-project.html


Category: Business, Vietnam

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