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Transport Ministry proposes State to compensate controversial BOT tollgates
By Lan Nhi
Saturday,  May 23, 2020,13:18 (GMT+7)

Transport Ministry proposes State to compensate controversial BOT tollgates

By Lan Nhi

Vehicles travel through the build-operate-transfer tollgate T2 in southern Vietnam – PHOTO: VNA

HANOI – The Ministry of Transport has proposed that the Government compensate developers of two out of four build-operate-transfer (BOT) tollgates and shut them down due to protests among road users.

Over the past five years, the ministry has tried to solve issues at 19 BOT tollgates nationwide, mainly those relating to their incorrect locations. However, issues at four BOT tollgates remain unsolved.

As for the Bim Son tollgate, which is located outside the boundary of a project to build a bypass in the west of Thanh Hoa City, the ministry has suggested using the State funding to make payments for the investor.

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam had earlier coordinated with agencies in Thanh Hoa Province and the investor to seek solutions to relocate the tollgate to the bypass.

However, the relocation may not help to recover the investment capital, as road users can avoid passing through the tollgate and use two other roads, including a section of National Highway 1 and a bypass to the east of Thanh Hoa City.

In addition, the ministry has agreed with the governments of Can Tho City and An Giang Province to stop collecting tolls at the BOT T2 tollgate, part of a project to upgrade National Highways 91 and 91B.

The ministry has also proposed using the State budget to make payments for the upgrade of National Highway 91B, and assigned the Can Tho government to manage the national highway.

The ministry has also worked with the government of Thai Nguyen Province to resume toll collections at a tollgate on National Highway 3, part of a project to build the Thai Nguyen-Cho Moi road and upgrade a 25-kilometer section of National Highway 3.

In the worst-case scenario, the ministry will suspend toll collections at the tollgate and propose using the State budget to pay the investor, while shutting down the tollgate.

In December 2018, the ministry and the Thai Nguyen government agreed upon a plan to reduce toll fees at the tollgate. However, many road users have still opposed the operation of the tollgate.

Moreover, the Ministry of Finance has proposed that the prime minister suspend the operation of the La Son-Tuy Loan tollgate and acquire it.

However, according to the Ministries of Transport and Justice, the tollgate’s operation should be maintained, as it is not affected by the Law on the Use and Management of Public Assets.

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