HCMC – The HCMC government has approved spending nearly VND1.67 trillion to resume consulting services for the city’s first metro line, which connects Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Park in Thu Duc City.
The Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCMC, the investor of the project, and consulting firms calculating and verifying the overruns for the consulting services must take responsibility for the accuracy of the content and statistics in their proposal submitted to the municipal government, the local media reported.
The HCMC chairman asked MAUR to quickly conduct the following tasks to ensure the progress of the metro line project.
The approval of the cost for the resumption of consulting services will pave the way for MAUR and NJPT, the consulting unit of the project, to sign Appendix No. 19 of the consultancy contract. The appendix includes consulting services, training of the metro train conductors, and installing the information technology system.
In 2007, MAUR signed a consulting contract worth more than nine million yen with NJPT. The contract would be conducted in 132 months, divided into five phases: basic design and preparation of bidding dossiers, bidding, design revision and construction supervision, maintenance and maintenance consultancy.
The consulting contract was signed based on the expected progress of the project, which was earlier planned to be completed in 2015.
However, due to many obstacles, the deadline to complete the project was delayed, increasing the workload, so 18 appendices were added from 2009 to 2017. Appendix No. 19 has yet to be signed since April 2017.
To maintain consulting services pending the signing of the appendix, in 2018, the HCMC government agreed to add capital and assigned MAUR to sign a memorandum of understanding with NJPT to extend the contract until October 2020.
Due to the protracted signing, the consulting unit stopped training conductors in late 2020 and suspended many services for the project in July last year.
HCMC’s first metro line project is over 89% complete and was expected to be put into commercial operation in the last quarter of next year. The 20-kilometer route includes three underground stations and 11 elevated stations and requires an estimated investment of over VND43.7 trillion.