Tien Giang wants another tollgate for Cai Lay bypass

16-Oct-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Another tollgate is expected to be built on a bypass around Cai Lay Town in the southern province of Tien Giang to recover capital for a controversial build-operate-transfer (BOT) road infrastructure project there.

BOT is a format widely used for the construction of roads and bridges with developers awarded the right to collect toll fees for a certain period of time to recoup their capital.

In this case, National Highway No.1 Tien Giang Investment built a 12-kilometer road bypassing Cai Lay Town and renovated a 26.5-kilometer section of National Highway 1, which runs through Cai Lay Town in the province.

This company is a consortium between Bac Ai Construction Investment Consultation JSC and Transport Construction and Investment Trading JSC No.1.

In August 2017, the investor set up a tollgate on the highway to recover its capital, but after toll collection started, drivers staged strong protests, repeatedly paralysing the tollgate’s operation.

Drivers reasoned that the investor had built the bypass, so it only had the right to collect fees from vehicles that used this road section. It was illogical to charge vehicles running on the highway, they argued, and the toll fees at the time were too high, almost the same as the fee for using the 40-kilometer HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway.

Following the protests, the government ordered the tollgate be suspended, and the Ministry of Transport was told to put forward feasible solutions to break the stalemate.

Tran Van Bon, director of the provincial Transport Department, told the Saigon Times today, October 14, that the Ministry of Transport has floated two solutions to resume fee collection at the BOT Cai Lay Tollgate.

He said the first solution is to collect fees on the highway, where road users in 41 communes, wards and towns near the existing tollgate will enjoy toll reductions and exemptions.

The other option is to build another tollgate on the bypass and collect toll fees on both roads. If either of the tollgates recovers the initial investment, that station will be demolished.

Local authorities are in favour of the second option, and they are seeking feedback from the ministry, which will then report the result to the prime minister for approval, according to the director.

The ministry noted in a report that the project has a post-audited total investment of more than VND1.38 trillion, including some VND680 billion for the bypass and VND380 billion for the renovated national road.



Category: Business, Vietnam

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