Wednesday,  Mar 21,2018,15:38 (GMT+7)

Can Tho still prefers BOT transport projects

Trung Chanh
Tuesday,  Jan 9,2018,20:31 (GMT+7)
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Can Tho still prefers BOT transport projects

Trung Chanh

CAN THO – The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will continue carrying out future transport infrastructure projects under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) investment format, said Do Hoang Trung, director of the municipal Department of Information and Communications.

Trung made this announcement at a press conference on January 8 on a BOT tollgate on a National Highway 1 section between Can Tho City and Hau Giang Province’s Phung Hiep District which has recently met with fierce opposition from drivers.

The city’s budget cannot cope with the increasing demand for infrastructure development, especially in the road sector, he noted.

Trung added the central Government has suspended BOT transport infrastructure projects to tackle thorny issues that have arisen recently. However, the municipal government still prefers implementing BOT projects.
He told the Daily Can Tho has been waiting for the Government’s instructions upon the latter’s careful reviews of BOT projects to make proper adjustments for future projects.

Le Tien Dung, deputy director of the city’s Transport Department, said the Transport Ministry has agreed to further slash toll fees by 50% at the Can Tho-Phung Hiep BOT Tollgate for the people living or working in the vicinity of the facility.

Notably, owners of cars that are not for commercial use in Ba Lang Ward of Can Tho City, and Tan Phu Thanh Commune of Hau Giang Province will be exempted from paying toll fees.

As covered by the Daily, drivers have recently used banknotes of small denomination to pay fees at the facility to keep fee collectors busy, resulting in serious traffic congestion there.

The tollgate investor upgraded a 22-kilometer highway section at a cost of over VND1.83 trillion (US$80.8 million), and began collecting fees late last year at VND35,000 per standard vehicle, which was deemed too high and unfair for local residents who had to pay for the full fee when they traveled just a few hundred meters.

The protests have simmered since months ago. As a result, the investor has reduced its toll fees by 7% to 15% since December 20. Then, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam has agreed fee cuts between 30% and 35% for local residents since early this year.

However, the move has failed to soothe protesters who demand that the fee be exempted for all residents living nearby, and that the investor have a technical solution to collect fees proportionate to the distance they travel.

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