HCMC – Despite some obstacles, the Government is determined to complete 654 kilometers of the North-South Expressway project by 2024.
At a meeting of the Government’s steering committee for the project on March 9, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh described the eastern North-South Expressway as important to the country’s socioeconomic development, the local media reported.
Leaders of the Party and the State have attached importance to the project, which would be executed in two phases, with phase one from 2017 to 2020 and phase two from 2021 to 2025, and their respective length is 654 and 729 kilometers.
The first phase of the project had been conducted as planned. Site clearance has been completed. It is over 30% complete.
However, the incomplete workload in the first phase is huge. This year, 360 kilometers of the expressway must be completed, including the Mai Son – National Highway 45, the Cam Lo – La Son, Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet and Phan Thiet – Dau Giay sections.
Many subprojects are just 30% complete and the remaining 70% must be completed in only nine months.
As for the second phase, the project management board has signed a contract to choose consultants, prepared the feasibility study and assessed the impact of the project on the environment. Four out of 12 provinces where the expressway will pass through have established steering committees and councils in charge of site clearance compensation and resettlement.
Deputy PM Thanh said the progress of the North-South Expressway project would not be delayed.
Ninh Binh, Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue, Khanh Hoa, Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan must cope with the shortage of materials for ground leveling. Meanwhile, contractors failing to ensure progress should be replaced, and the project management board, if failing to come up with solutions to ensure the progress, would be held responsible before the Minister of Transport.
The deputy prime minister asked local authorities to complete their compensation and resettlement plans before April 8 and the environment impact assessment reports before April 18. All 12 subprojects of the North-South Expressway project will be approved prior to June 30 and work on them can start before December this year.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Duy Lam said the second phase of the North-South Expressway project with a length of 729 kilometers would pass through 12 provinces. The project requires an estimated VND147 trillion, sourced from the State budget.
The project is expected to be completed in 2025 and opened to traffic in 2026.
Lam said the project had been conducted as planned but admitted that the incomplete workload was large.
Five of the 12 provinces have worked out plans on the direction of the sections within their precincts and items on the sections. The Ministry of Transport asked the remaining seven provinces to get the job done before March 10.
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said in mid-March, cleared land for subprojects in the second phase would be handed over by June 30.