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Lands for Saigon's 2nd metro line to be fully acquired this year

By Gia Minh   June 18, 2021 | 12:22 am PT
Lands for Saigon's 2nd metro line to be fully acquired this year
Houses on Truong Chinh Street of Tan Binh District are demolished to give space for the second metro line of HCMC. August, 2020. photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
After missing several deadlines, land acquisition for HCMC's metro line No.2 is now expected to be completed by the end of this year.

In a letter sent recently to the city administration, the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) said 78 percent of the land has been acquired already, and it would continue with the task to complete it by year end.

The Ben Thanh – Tham Luong Metro Line will run 11 kilometers between districts 1 and 12, 9.2 km of it underground, and through the districts of 1, 3, 10, 12, Tan Binh, and Tan Phu.

In all 603 households in five districts are affected by the project.

Disagreements over compensation had delayed land acquisition for years, causing the project to be rescheduled several times.

Districts 1 and 3 through which it will pass are at the heart of the city, and many house owners have been unhappy with the compensation amount of around VND305 million ($13,162) per square meter, which they say is less than half the actual market price of 700-800 million.

MAUR has not indicated how it is going to persuade the remaining more than 100 households to hand over their property for the project.

Le Van Khoa, director of the line project management board, said last November city officials had to meet with affected households several times to convince them.

It is scheduled to start commercial operations in 2026, serving 140,000 passengers a day in the first phase, and 400,000 once it is fully complete.

It is now expected to cost VND47.9 trillion ($2 billion) after ballooning from the original VND26 trillion ($1.1 billion).

It is part of eight lines planned in the city with a combined length of 220 km and a price tag of nearly $25 billion.

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