Vietnam should not construct hi-speed rail, says minister

Vietnam will focus on improving transportation infrastructure as high-speed rail construction is beyond the country’s competence, said the newly-elected Transport Minister Dinh La Thang.

Vietnam will focus on improving transportation infrastructure as high-speed rail construction is beyond the country’s competence (Photo: Phan Hien)

“The current situation of Vietnam doesn’t allow the government to undertake a project on the high-speed rail,” Thang told press reporters after the National Assembly session Wednesday.

He claimed that high-speed rail is such a necessary transport system in an industrialized country. The government will eye on this innovative transport when Vietnam advances to a developed country.

Thang said that the key goal of Vietnam at present is limiting traffic accidents and congestion and improve transportation infrastructure.

“The country’s first priority is to continue with the construction of North-South Expressway,” he said.

“The existing railway system will be upgraded, and the development of nation’s highway and provinces’ streets and lanes will be simultaneously invested on.”

The quality of all means of transportation will also be put in careful consideration, Thang said.   

He also noticed that the Ministry of Transport will coordinate with big cities’ authorities, namely Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to eliminate the pressing matter of traffic congestion.

According to Thang, the most effective solution is to balance the increase of public and private means of transportation in the city. 

The Minister emphasized the importance of the citizens’ awareness on the occurrence of traffic accidents. He hoped the citizens always keep in mind that the safety is in their hand and they are supposed to have their own responsibility for their vehicle-controlling.  

When asked about the ways to manage funds for these costly projects, Thang stated that a demanding breakthrough in construction will help enhance the development of transportation.

The governmental budget is not always sufficient enough for all the construction. The government, therefore, needs to show the possibility of investment on each project to catch attention of domestic individuals, enterprises and even overseas investor.

On the very first day in his position, Thang also put forth his expectation about the motivation in his work and opportunity for him to make his own decision when dealing with urgent matter.

Thang said that the success of former Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung actually put pressure on him, but this pressure will turn out to be a motivation for him in his forthcoming career.

“A person’s success will be more respectable only when he or she encounters lots of difficulties and obstacles in his job. A job with no motivation won’t bring its doer any happiness at all,” Thang stated confidently.

By Phan Thao – Translated by Huu Duy

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