Hanoi not to budge on controversial location of metro station

By Tat Dinh   September 26, 2019 | 08:10 pm PT
Hanoi not to budge on controversial location of metro station
An illustration of the C9 metro station near Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board.
Hanoi is set on placing a metro station underneath Dinh Tien Hoang Street, just 10 meters away from the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake.

C9, the station in question, is part of the second urban metro project initiated by the city administration in 2008 and approved by the prime minister in 2016.

The station’s intended location is ideal as it would be located on the widest area near the lake without indentation risk during construction, the Hanoi People’s Committee has said in a recent report to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

As the station’s entrance, exit and additional structures would be located within the land owned by the Power Corporation of Hanoi, thus it would not be necessary for citizens living near the station to be relocated, the committee added.

Hanoi first proposed the location 11 years ago and the selection has been a topic of controversy among ministries, architects and urban planners.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism last year requested that the station be moved further down the Dinh Tien Hoang Street and away from the Hoan Kiem Lake, as the lake was a historical and cultural landmark, requiring "a balance between conservation and development."

Other location suggestions made thus far include areas near the State Bank of Vietnam, the Hanoi Opera House and along the Red River.

The Hanoi administration has rejected all proposed alternatives, as any plan involving areas other than the originally intended location would require the station’s numerous components, including its entrance, exit, tunnels and additional structures, to be moved as well. That could affect the metro’s safety and operations, as well as force citizens in several residential areas to be relocated, the city said.

The urban metro project would be 11.5 kilometers long, including nine kilometers underground. It would run from the Ciputra Hanoi International City in Tay Ho and Bac Tu Liem Districts to an intersection between Pho Hue and Nguyen Du Streets in Hai Ba Trung District.

The total investment for the project is about VND34.6 trillion ($1.49 billion), sourced from the national budget and loan assistance from the Japanese government.

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