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NA approves pouring nearly VND147 trillion into North-South expy

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The National Assembly (NA) on January 11 passed a resolution to develop the Eastern North-South Expressway project in the 2021-2025 period, with total capital of VND146.99 trillion, after 469 of 474 NA delegates voted for the investment.

Under the resolution, the expressway project will be some 729 kilometers long and comprise 12 subprojects under the public-private partnership format.

The expressway will see most sections have six lanes, the local media reported.

The total cost was kept unchanged as proposed by the Government to develop the 729-kilometer expressway in the 2021-2025 period, using the State budget.

As for the cost of the project, several deputies referred to the estimated cost of the North-South expressway project proposed by the Government at VND175.4 billion per kilometer, exclusive of site clearance costs. However, a State Audit of Vietnam report showed the investment cost of each kilometer of the expressway at VND152.9 billion.

As such, the total cost should be reduced by VND16.33 trillion against the figure proposed by the Government.

Vu Hong Thanh, chairman of the NA’s Economic Committee, explained that the prefeasibility study report just determined the estimated cost for the project. The exact calculation of the investment and estimates will be conducted in the next steps, depending on the workload, current prices and terrain conditions.

According to the prefeasibility study of the North-South expressway project in the 2017-2020 period, the total cost was VND118.7 trillion, while the feasibility study showed the cost was estimated at VND102.5 trillion.

The calculation of the cost of the expressway project by the Government was suitable to the prevailing regulations, Thanh said.

The NA Standing Committee proposed the Government direct relevant agencies to conduct detailed research on the terrain and calculate the exact workload and prices during the feasibility study to offer bidding packages at reasonable prices, making it easier to select contractors.

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