HCMC – The first metro line project in HCMC is projected to be completed at the end of 2023 or in early 2024 instead of at the end of this year due to the impact of Covid-19.
The information was stated in a document that the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCMC, the investor of the project, sent to the HCMC Department of Transport on September 7 for a report on the project to be submitted to the National Assembly, the local media reported.
The project is 87.5% complete and the figure is expected to reach 91% at the end of this year.
According to MAUR, since the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the construction of the project has faced multiple difficulties, especially in manpower. The number of laborers working at the construction site has plunged due to social distancing measures. In addition, workers in areas under lockdown cannot come to work, and travel between pandemic-hit areas has been restricted.
MAUR has applied the stay-at-work mode but the number of workers at the construction site has still fallen over the past two months.
The investor also stated that since early last year, many foreign experts could not enter Vietnam, affecting the progress of many packages, especially complicated ones.
MAUR has employed many solutions to deal with these difficulties, such as supporting foreign experts with immigration and work permit application procedures or asking them to work online, and asking local workers to work overtime. However, the completed workload has reached 82%, lower than the planned 85%.
Besides the impact of the pandemic, the project has faced some legal obstacles due to the delayed execution. The investor is coordinating with the relevant agencies to recalculate the progress of the project.
To facilitate foreign experts to enter Vietnam and work on the project, MAUR proposed shortening the quarantine period for experts who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and test negative for Covid-19 and facilitating the transport of equipment and materials for the project.
The first metro line project in HCMC requires an investment of over VND43.7 trillion. The 20-kilometer route, stretching from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc City, includes three underground stations and 11 elevated ones. The project was approved in 2007 but work on it did not start until 2012.