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Saigon Metro Construction Avoids Halt as Cost Revisions Approved by Ministries

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has been trying to increase the cost for both of the city's first two metro lines for a while.

Specifically, the cost for Saigon's Metro Line 1 (Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien) is proposed to be revised from VND17.4 trillion (US$749 million) to VND47 trillion (US$2.02 billion), and the second line (Ben Thanh – Tham Luong) from VND26 trillion (US$1.12 billion) to nearly VND48 trillion (US$2.07 billion).

After a period of silence from the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance, to whom the committee had sent the proposal, on October 24, these proposals received the green light from the planning ministry, said a representative from the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways, Nguoi Lao Dong reports.

The decision is key for the municipal People’s Committee to finalize the cost revisions. The revised documents will then be sent to the party committee and finally the people’s council to complete the finalization process.

After the documents have been finalized, the city People’s Committee will issue its final approval and work with the central committee. The new budget allocation plan for the two lines will then provide the legal basis for new contracts of official development assistance (ODA).

Work on the first line is 67% complete and trains are expected to begin operations in April 2021. The second line's deadline has been extended from 2024 to 2026 due to delays caused by paperwork and administrative matters. No actual construction work on that line has begun.

[Photo via VietnamNet]