HCMC proposes $725mil supplementation for second metro route

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to increase total investment capital of the second metro route Ben Thanh-Tham Luong from US$1.3 billion to over US$2 billion.

Committee deputy chairman Nguyen Huu Tin said that local authorized agencies are reviewing documents on the capital adjustment to submit the Prime Minister for approval this month.

Three sponsors of the project including the Asia Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and German development bank KfW have agreed to the capital supplementation. ADB will provide an extra of US$500 million, EIB US$56 million and KfW US$168 million.

According to the HCMC Urban Railway Management Board, investor of the project, the capital hike is due to design changes, increasing the number of intersections between the second metro route and other metro lines no 1, 3b, 5, and 6, and price escalations.

HCMC has intensely implemented site clearance work and made decisions to withdrawn lands of about 800 households in the project area in districts 1, 3, 10, 12, Tan Binh and Tan Phu.

Ben Thanh-Tham Luong metro line project was approved in 2010 and adjusted three years later with total investment capital of US$1.37 billion.

The 20 kilomter route will start in Thu Thiem new urban area, District 2 and end in Tay Ninh bus station.

The first phase will construct 11 kilometer section Ben Thanh-Tham Luong, which will depart from Ben Thanh terminal in District 1, run underground along 9.3 kilometers of Cach Mang Thang Tam Street.

Subsequently, it will travel on the ground in Tan Phu district, run along Truong Chinh Street to reach Tham Luong depot in District 12.

The city People’s Committee has proposed the Prime Minister to permit use of Japanese official development assistance fund for construction of Ben Thanh terminal of the second metro route. It will be built under the terminal of the first route Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien.

The committee has asked the Urban Railway Management Board to work with authorized agencies to re-determine scope, route direction and boundary of the first phase of the metro line no.5 Bay Hien Crossroads-Saigon Bridge.

They should ensure technical requirements and minimize changes in the line’s direction towards existing residential areas in order not to skyrocket site clearance cost and affect the work’s progress.

The board has also been tasked to review directions and station positions of other urban railway projects in the city.

By Van Anh – Translated by Hai Mien

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