HCMC seeks entry for foreign experts working on first metro line

By Huu Cong   June 30, 2020 | 11:34 am GMT+7
HCMC seeks entry for foreign experts working on first metro line
Officials during a trip to review work at the HCMC's Metro Line 1, June 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Nguyen.

HCMC authorities have requested the government to allow 83 foreign experts to enter Vietnam to work on the city’s first metro route.

They must test negative for the novel coronavirus and would be quarantined for 14 days upon entry, Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), said at a meeting on Monday chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh to discuss projects using official development assistance.

During their quarantine period, they would work remotely under the supervision of medical authorities, he said.

The trains for the first metro line from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien theme park have not arrived as planned either since the Japanese experts who were supposed to accompany them were not able to do so due to the travel restrictions in place against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

The first two trains should have come in April with two Japanese experts coming to help install them, but the pandemic put paid to the plans. Vietnam suspended international flights in late March.

Ho Chi Minh City plans to build eight metro lines running a total of 220 km. It is now focusing on completing the first, which would connect the city center with its "innovation urban area" in the east.

The line is now 73.5 percent complete, and this is expected to increase to 85 percent by year end.

Work on the second route, from Ben Thanh to Tham Luong, is scheduled to begin next year. This year, HCMC would also decide on the use of public funding for the first phase of the fifth metro line to run from Saigon Bridge to Can Giuoc Bus Station connecting the city’s first two lines.

Cuong said: "Upon completion, these three metro lines would be connected to allow traffic from multiple directions into the city center. They will meet around 20 percent of the public’s travel demand."

 
 
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