Saigon's second metro line to miss land clearance deadline

By Gia Minh   December 17, 2020 | 05:11 pm PT
Saigon's second metro line to miss land clearance deadline
The front part of more than 10 houses on Truong Chinh Street in HCMC's Tan Binh District get demolished and leveled to make way for Ben Thanh-Tham Luong second metro line, August 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Problems with compensation policies and a lack of funds will prevent timely land clearance for the second metro line in HCMC.

According to the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the main investor in the Ben Thanh – Tham Luong metro route, 450 of 603 affected families in six districts have handed over their land for the project, accounting for 75 percent of the plan.

However, land acquisition cannot be completed by the end of this year as scheduled as there have been some problems with the compensation policy for residents in District 3 and sufficient funds have not been allocated for the purpose, it said in a report submitted Thursday to the city’s Department of Investment and Planning.

District 3, one of six districts that the metro route goes through, has a total of 113 affected families. Of these, only 37 had handed over their land as of November. The rest have not agreed with the current compensation policies.

A representative of MAUR said that District 3 authorities met with local residents in November and were working on adjusting the compensation policies to support resettlement of affected families.

The municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment has submitted to the city government a land price adjustment plan for District 3 and is awaiting approval.

The land acquisition deadline has been extended to the second quarter of next year, MAUR said.

The Ben Thanh – Tham Luong Metro Line runs 11 kilometers from Districts 1 to 12, 9.2 km underground. It will have 10 stations.

The work is expected to cost VND47.9 trillion ($2 billion) after ballooning from the earlier VND26 trillion ($1.1 billion). It is part of eight metro lines planned in the city with a combined length of 220 kilometers and a price tag of nearly $25 billion.

Disagreements over compensation have repeatedly delayed land acquisition, causing the entire project to be rescheduled several times.

As per its current schedule, the line will become operational in 2026, serving 140,000 passengers per day in the first phase, and 400,000 after full completion.

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