Ho Chi Minh City's first metro line to be operational next year

By Hua Phuong - Feb 20, 2019 | 02:20 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERHo Chi Minh City authorities want to speed up the construction of the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line.

Ho Chi Minh City's first metro line to be operational next year
The on-going construction of Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line

Ho Chi Minh City authorities are pushing for construction of the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line to be speed up with the aim to put it into operation in 2020.

In a recent meeting with the city's Urban Railway Management Board, Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen reiterated that metro line projects were seen as key infrastructure that the municipal leaders want to speed up. 

The construction of the first metro line, which spans 20 kilometres from the downtown area to the outlying District 9, started in 2006 and is expected to finish last year but construction has been lengthened due to the financial difficulties.

Up to now, the metro line has completed 62 per cent of the total works. 

Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the Urban Railway Management Board, explained that the construction progress had been delayed due to many reasons such as waiting for legal procedures in adjusting the investment capital of the project or the slow disbursement.

Tuyen said the city was spending its budget to fund the construction.

To complete the project by the end of 2020 as scheduled, the management board and contractors have identified problems, especially ones in the capital disbursement process, said Cuong.

Apart from solving financial difficulties, the management board plans to stabilise its human resources. In the past, for many reasons, up to 55 officials and employees of the board quit their jobs. 

Cuong said that he was ready to reclaim qualified and experienced employees, who had a good knowledge of international practice, back to work.

At the beginning of January 2019, Cuong submitted a document to the municipal People's Committee and the Department of Finance to request an advance of nearly $97 million to settle outstanding debts for contractors.