October 14, 2019 10:47

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Transport infrastructure is alternately happy and worried

10:23 | 08/01/2019

VCN- A series of transportation projects completed and put into use in 2018 helped shorten travel time by 1/3 to 1/2 compared to the present, while increasing connections between localities and creating a positive response in connecting logistics, socio-economic development ... However, besides those effects, many transport infrastructure issues need changes.

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The East of Saigon is a spectacular breakthrough thanks to transport infrastructure. Photo: S.T.

Great momentum from highways

There are many limitations that make transportation slower and slower as each year the transport sector budget is approved only about 23% of the plan. The Ministry of Transport from 2016-2020 is not allowed to implement any new projects, only pay basic construction debt, and completed projects - Deputy Minister of Transport said.

In the 5-year period (2011-2015), our country had only completed and put into operation more than 700 km of highway, so far, the Transportation sector has completed and put into operation about 1,000 km, reaching nearly 50% of the Government's goal to 2020, the whole country has 2,000 km.

In addition, the investment in infrastructure development of the Transportation sector in the past 5 years has also achieved many positive results and basically met the strategies and planning. Notably, in the road sector about 70-80% has been completed compared to the plan. Especially, the completion of upgrading and expanding Highway 1 and Ho Chi Minh road, has created a favorable connection between transport modes, contributing greatly to promoting the socio-economic development of the country.

Evaluating from the great impacts brought by high-speed projects, Mr. Tran Bao Ngoc, Head of Transportation Department, Ministry of Transport, said that the high-speed routes after being put into operation have brought positive effects. The results are remarkably; economic benefits, great social benefits, national security, contributing to poverty reduction and achieving the goal of 2,000 km of highways before 2020. According to calculations, the logistics cost of our country accounts for about 20% of GDP, so when freight costs are lowered, it reduces the cost of goods production, improving the competitiveness of products...

In fact, in the period from 2010 up to now, the effectiveness from road projects such as: Noi Bai - Lao Cai, Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay, Ha Long - Hai Phong, Da Nang - Quang Ngai, National Highway 1 and Ho Chi Minh Road through the Central Highlands, when put into operation, they have created great social efficiency such as: Shortening travel time, creating motivation for all important economic regions along the route and localities where the project goes through; increasing the ability to attract investment, promoting local industry development, being a GDP growth lever for the northwestern provinces; contributing to connecting poor areas with economic centers, creating a great momentum for cargo and passenger transport.

It can be mentioned here that one of the major transport projects of Vietnam that has been put into operation and used in 2018, is Ha Long - Hai Phong highway and Bach Dang bridge. With a length of 24.6 km, 25 m wide, it is designed for 4 lanes, maximum speed of 100km / hr, and is considered the road connecting three major economic centers in the north, Hanoi - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh. By completing this route, the distance from Ha Long City to Hanoi is shortened from 180km to 130km; the traveling time is reduced from 3.5 hours to 1.5 hours. The length of the road from Ha Long to Hai Phong decreases from 75km to 25km.

The Da Nang - Quang Ngai Expressway Project (Km 0 + 000 - Km 139 + 204) has a total investment of more than 34,500 billion VND, going through Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces, has also been officially opened. The first 140km expressway in the Central region, connecting three provinces and cities: Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai, is opening up great prospects for trade development, connecting logistics value chains and capital attraction of investment in heating up the real estate market. In addition to the important meaning of connecting industrial parks and resorts along this route, this expressway also has special significance for the development of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai, especially when the National Highway 1A section passes through the localities. This route is under heavy pressure from vehicles, many accidents happen.

Waiting for changes

In spite of helping to connect the economy among regions, many projects that have just been put into operation have been degraded and subsided due to the poor quality of construction; some road toll stations are also encumbered by people's objections due to the situation of making the project at this place, but getting a fee in another place.

Expressway Projects have newly been put into operation in September 2019, but since the opening of the highway, the Da Nang - Quang Ngai highway project has continuously suffered with the appearances of deterioration and subsidence, affecting traffic safety, construction structure safety during operation and exploitation. Not only the Da Nang - Quang Ngai expressway project has deteriorated conditions, but even the Bach Dang Bridge connecting Ha Long - Hai Phong also appears to be sagging, affecting traffic safety when crossing.

According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat, after 6 years of implementing Resolution No. 13 of the 11th Party Central Committee, "Building a synchronous infrastructure to make our country basically become an industrial country in the modern direction by 2020 ", currently in 5 transportation sectors, roads meet 70-72% of requirement, and about 30% are 4 remaining areas. For investment structure, investment capital is 90% for roads, 10% for the remaining sectors.

Meanwhile, transport infrastructure is always a high proportion of total social investment. The demand of capital for transportation projects is huge, to meet the need to diversify forms of mobilization, it should not only be based on the state budget. Therefore, mobilizing all non-budget resources is an inevitable and objective trend, an effective solution to meet the requirements for investment capital to develop transport infrastructure and improve the quality of services in the transportation field.

To manage the quality of traffic BOT projects, according to Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, Chairman of Member Board of Basico Law Company, there is a need for a complete legal framework for BOT investment. According to Mr. Duc, the problems of quality and fee levels in the past, are all consequences of massively deploying many BOT projects while there was no legal framework for BOT, there is no PPP law, resulting in BOT projects being disguised and difficult to solve for stakeholders when problems arise. Besides, the monitoring stage is loose; it is not known what the quality of the project and the calculated price are. Even, when they are brought to court, it is expected that it will be very difficult because of no law, because the legal mechanism for implementing the BOT contract is not yet strict; the responsibilities of the parties have not been clearly defined.

transport infrastructure is alternately happy and worried Transport infrastructure upgrade needs $45b

Viet Nam is in need of over VND995 trillion (US$44.6 billion) to upgrade the national transport infrastructure ...

In order to overcome the shortcomings of BOT investment in transport infrastructure development, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said that the roads and investment projects must be clearly defined and openly announced to investors and people to know how to register and supervise in the process of implementing construction investment. Only invest BOT on new routes, do not invest on unique routes, ensuring people have the choice in using transport infrastructure. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen the state management of construction investment for BOT projects from planning, formulation and appraisal of investment projects, technical designs, total investment levels of investment, construction cost estimates, construction process, acceptance, handover, putting the project into operation, operation and use to reduce costs, collection time ...

By Xuan Thao /Bui Diep