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Metro Line Contractor Seeks Compensation for Delays

While Saigon Metro's Line 1 has made considerable downtown progress over the last year or so and parts of 19.7-kilometer line are beginning to take shape in District 2, the city's massive public transportation project remains over two years behind schedule in some places, according to contractors.

As such, Saigon Metro's developers are seeking over US$90 million in compensation from the city, claiming that the slow pace of site clearance has stalled their own efforts to complete the job, reports Thanh Nien.

In a written request to the city, Japanese company Sumitomo and state-owned builder Cienco 6 demanded VND2.5 billion (US$111,000) per day for the 27-month delay.

Director of the HCMC Transport Department Bui Xuan Cuong says the city is currently negotiating compensation with the contractors, however Pham Sanh, a lecturer at the HCMC University of Transport, believes the money will likely come from taxpayers' pockets.

Prior to Line 1's second phase of construction, the city government agreed to relocate residents and complete site clearance by January 2013, however this process was not completed until March 2015, in part due to bureaucratic red tape between city officials and their provincial counterparts in Binh Duong. Issues like these could push completion of the line to 2020, well past the previous 2018 deadline set by city officials.

According to another transport lecturer from the city's University of Technology, Pham Xuan Mai, Saigon's Metro Line 1 will be the most expensive metro worldwide at US$2.49 billion, in part due to site clearance costs.

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