Railway projects in Hanoi, HCMC to be audited next year

  • September 20, 2017

The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) will audit urban railway projects which are underway in Hanoi and HCMC.

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The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway in Hanoi. SAV plans to audit large-scale traffic infrastructure projects including the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway

This auditing is part of a broader plan of SAV to audit the medium-term public investment plan and the 2016-2020 financial plan next year.

SAV earlier conducted inspections of public-private partnership (PPP) traffic infrastructure projects, including 27 implemented in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format, under the management of the Ministry of Transport.

According to audit results released last month, SAV proposed cutting the toll collection time of the BOT projects by a combined 107 years and four months compared to their original plans, with one project even forced to cut the duration of toll collection by 13 years, one month and 12 days.

SAV also requested their investment costs be adjusted down by VND1.15 trillion (US$50.6 million) in comparison to the original estimates.

SAV plans to audit large-scale traffic infrastructure projects, especially those upgrading National Highway 1 and building urban rail lines like Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien in HCMC, Cat Linh-Ha Dong and Nhon-Hanoi Station in Hanoi, and Quang Ninh International Airport in the northern coast province of Quang Ninh next year.

If the plan goes as planned, SAV will check the effectiveness of using official development assistance (ODA) loans and mobilizing capital from domestic and foreign investors to carry out these projects.

The projects subject to the auditing plan belong to the medium-term public investment plan, the 2016-2020 financial plan, and the borrowing and public debt repayment plan. The projects are funded by ODA loans, proceeds from Government bond sales, and the State budget.

Work on some urban railway projects is slower than expected and they are facing cost overruns. For instance, a 13-kilometer elevated railway connecting Cat Linh and Ha Dong in Hanoi is plagued by cost overruns, with its capital adjusted up by US$300 million from the original US$868.04 million.

The railway is 94% complete and scheduled for a test run next month. But it has ground to a temporary halt due to a lack of capital.

Another railway which is 12.5 kilometers long and links Nhon and Hanoi Station is in the same boat. It started construction in 2010 and is expected to be up and running next year. However, it is just half-done.

Worse still, the project is facing cost overruns, with its capital shooting up to nearly VND33 trillion from the original VND22 trillion. Its inauguration date has been rescheduled to 2021.

Source: VietNamNet

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