Hanoi metro route safety check far from complete: experts

By Anh Duy   October 3, 2019 | 01:05 am PT
Hanoi metro route safety check far from complete: experts
A railway section of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Safety evaluation of Hanoi’s first metro route could take another six months despite a Deputy PM order to start commercial operation this year.

Nguyen Cong Phu, Asia-Pacific director of French firm Apave, which is conducting a safety evaluation of the project, said Tuesday that half of the documents related to the safety of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro route are still to be reviewed.

With the Chinese contractor needs to fix some parts of the project as required by the Ministry of Transport, the Apave-Certifier-Tricc consortium cannot carry out its inspections and evaluations until the task is done. Therefore, it could take another six months to finish the safety evaluation, he told the media.

A Ministry of Transport report said the contractor, China Railway Sixth Group Co Ltd, has not submitted all documents detailing the equipment that they have installed.

The contractor, in turn, has said that it could not submit some documents because the equipment was installed long ago. Safety evaluations should have been done during construction, it has noted.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said earlier this week that the contractor needs to ensure that Hanoi’s first metro begins commercial operations this year. All safety standards must be met before beginning operations, while all other administrative work can be finished later, he’d added.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has also called for a concerted effort to resolve all remaining issues so that commercial operations can begin within 1-1.5 months.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.

The metro eventually entered the testing phase in March with all 13 cars carrying out trial runs on both lines. The ministry wanted commercial operations to begin at the end of April, but this deadline too was missed.

Project costs have more than doubled from the original VND8.8 trillion ($377 million) to VND18 trillion ($771 million), according to state auditors.

The line now has one percent work remaining, mainly outlook finishing. When complete, the country’s first metro line will run 13 kilometers from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia Station in southwest Ha Dong District.

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