Hanoi 1,000th birthday celebrations could be marred by delays

Half of the 66 projects planned for the celebration of Thang Long-Hanoi’s 1,000th anniversary in 2010 are behind schedule and unlikely to be completed in time due to difficulties with land acquisitions, a city official said.

An artist’s impression of Thanh Tri Bridge, which is under construction and unlikely to be completed in time for the celebration of Thang Long-Hanoi’s 1,000th anniversary in 2010

Nguyen Thi Rai, deputy director of the Planning and Investment Department, said 34 works have not been carried out this year and been put off for next.
 
Even projects initially considered feasible are facing great difficulties with land – like the Ha Noi Museum, Lang – Hoa Lac Road, Van Cao – Ho Tay Road, and stretches of Belt Road 3 at Thanh Xuan, Hoang Mai, and Hanoi – Son Tay National Highway 32, and Thanh Tri Bridge.
 
Phi Thai Binh, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said several other projects remain on paper -- like the railroad from Nhon to Hanoi station, Belt Road 2 and Hanoi – Ha Dong urban railroad.
 
Work on these has not even begun despite extensive preparations, he admitted.
 
Construction of the Thang Long Theater has been approved but plans have yet to be drawn up, he added.
 
Authorities hope to complete all approved projects in time.
 
But the shortage of time could affect the quality of work, many fear.
 
It even prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to warn Hanoi to focus on quality at a recent function.
 
He also approved a mechanism proposed by the Hanoi People’s Committee for appointing contractors for some of the works.
 
Nguyen Xuan Anh, director of the city Construction Department, said the mechanism would help speed up the projects because the contractors appointed under it would be strong in terms of finance, experience, equipment, and human resources. 

By Phuc Hau – Translated by Minh Yen

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