Ho Chi Minh City authorities propose postponing metro line completion till late 2023

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities propose postponing metro line completion till late 2023

Construction barriers at the building site of metro line No.1 are being removed from Le Loi Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City administration has suggested that the completion of the city’s first metro line be postponed to the end of 2023, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons.

In a report sent to the Ministry of Planning and Investment on Wednesday, the municipal People’s Committee mooted the adjustment of the building schedule of metro line No. 1, adding that the completion of the project should be deferred to the end of next year’s fourth quarter.

The metro route was previously slated to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2021.

However, only 88.5 percent of the project has been complete so far.

The Ho Chi Minh City administration attributed the slow progress to many obstacles, including the difficulties brought about by the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The negotiation of contract addendum No. 19, also known as the general consulting contract, between the developer and the consulting unit – NJPT – was prolonged due to changes in legal order and regulations during the preparation, appraisal, and approval of the incurred costs.

The project involved foreign contract regulations and went through several adjustments as per Vietnamese law, thus it is necessary to carefully review every step to ensure the compliance with domestic and international, as well as loan agreements.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, therefore, asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to seek the prime minister’s approval of the new completion time of the project.

Metro line No. 1, which runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City, is 19.7km long, including 2.6km of underground railways and 17.1km of elevated railways.

The project includes three underground stations and 11 above-ground stations.

Initiated in August 2012, the metro line project was estimated to cost over VND43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion).

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