Site clearance on Noi Bai - Lao Cai highway

Construction on a highway project, linking Noi Bai airport to Lao Cai Province, will begin before April 30, 2009, said Ngo Thinh Duc, deputy Minister of Transport. However, the time for clearing the ground remains a difficult problem to solve.

The 264 km highway will connect the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc to Hanoi.

The 264 km Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway will connect the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc through to Hanoi.

According to the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), it requires 1.885 hectares and around 30,000 households must be moved. Resettlement costs are estimated to be $100 million.

The greatest number of households needed to be moved is in Vinh Phuc province, with 13,960, followed by Phu Tho province, 8,346 households, and 3,000 in Yen Bai.

Site clearance has also met with other obstacles, where 3,500 works need to be dealt with.

Tran Xuan Sanh, director of Vietnam Expressway Corporation, said VEC has signed two building contracts with Hanoi and Vinh Phuc but has six remaining contracts to be completed.

Tam Duong suburban district, Vinh Phuc province, is planned for first construction work, however, the site clearance fund has paid just VND373 billion out of VND1,600 billion. Although Phu Tho authorities transferred 25 km, of 62 km, in Phu Tho, many local authorities have not yet officially transferred land to the project.

According to a report of VEC, surveying agriculture land, they have been conducting on private and public land in Hanoi.

Phu Tho authorities have compensated 21 communes out of 26 communes in the province. Lao Cai authorities have given six out of eight communes compensation. Yen Bai has managed to compensate only four out of 15 communes.

The project’s rate of progress is behind schedule and will affect preparations. Two months may not be enough time to transfer land to VEC.

According to the Ministry, work will start once investors finish 80 percent of the clearance.

The project is expected to be completed by 2012, comprising a two-lane highway connecting Lao Cai – Yen Bai, turning into a four-lane highway between Hanoi and Yen Bai.

The new highway should shorten travel time between Lao Cai and Hanoi from the current nine hours down to three hours. The highway is projected to cost $1.22 billion.

By Minh Duy - Translated by Thanh Huong

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