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Ho Chi Minh City begins work on Vietnam first metro line
Publication Date : 29-08-2012
Vietnam Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and Ho Chi Minh City authorities broke ground for construction of the country's first metro line yesterday.
Costing US$2.2 billion, Metro Line 1 will become operational in 2017, according to Nguyen Do Luong, head of the Urban Railway Management Authority, and be able to transport 186,000 passengers per day when construction is completed in 2017 and 620,000 passengers per day by 2020.
Set to become the backbone of the city's Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system, the near 20-kilometre-long Metro Line No. 1 will pass through Ho Chi Minh City's districts 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc, as well as Di An Town in Binh Duong Province, and consist of a 2.6-kilometre underground section connecting Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard, with three underground stations.
The first 17.1-kilometre stretch is an 11-station overhead section that will run from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien in District 9 via Ba Son Shipyard in District 1, and Van Thanh Park and Tan Cang in Binh Thanh District.
Under a contract signed with the Ho Chi Minh City's Urban Railway Management Authority, a consortium of Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and Vietnam's Civil Engineering Construction Corp. No. 6 (Cienco 6) will design, survey, execute, supply equipment, test, operate, offer utility services, and maintain stations of the 17.1-kilometre overhead section of Ho Chi Minh City's Metro Line 1.
The construction of this section is the first of the project's three packages, costing $560 million.
The other packages are for construction of an underground section between Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard and for mechanical-electrical devices and maintenance.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Le Hoang Quan, chairman of Ho Chi Minh City's People's Committee, said the ceremony marked an important milestone in the modernisation of Ho Chi Minh City's transport infrastructure.
"The construction of Metro Line No. 1 will create a very important foundation for realising the next metro lines, and modernising and improving the city's urban transport system in general and mass rapid transport in particular," said Quan.
Huynh Van Hong, a 66-year-old resident of Thao Dien Ward in District 2, who had 1,020 square metres of land revoked for the project, said that, although he was unhappy to be among the families affected by the project, he received compensation for the revoked land in November last year, paving the way for construction of the project.
"Now that my family is living normally in a new home, I hope the project will progress smoothly and operate on schedule, to benefit people from all walks of society. It will be a significant return to my contribution to the project," said Hong.
Ho Chi Minh City has also accelerated work on the rest of the city's metro projects, aiming to bring the entire network into operation by 2025.
Line 2 will run from Thu Thiem Penisula in District 2 to the Tay Ninh Bus Station in District 12, passing through Pham Hong Thai, Cach Mang Thang Tam and Truong Chinh streets. At least 9.6 kilometres of the section's total length of 11.3 kilometres will be underground.
Construction of Metro Line 2 will be divided into two phases. The first phase will cover the section from Ben Thanh Market to Tham Luong, and the city authority aims to complete construction of this section by 2018.
The Ho Chi Minh City authority has also approved basic designs for Line 3A from Ben Thanh Market to Tan Kien and Line 3B from the Cong Hoa Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Hiep Binh Phuoc in Thu Duc District.
Line 4 will run from Lang Cha Ca Crossroads in Tan Binh District to Van Thanh Park in Binh Thanh District. Line 5, stretching some 17 kilometres, will run from Sai Gon Bridge in District 2 to Can Giuoc in District 8. The six-kilometre-long Line 6 will run from Ba Queo in Tan Binh District to Phu Lam in District 6.