Traffic congestion major problem for southern Vietnam: PM

By Truong Ha   November 26, 2022 | 05:32 am PT
Traffic congestion major problem for southern Vietnam: PM
Traffic is stalled following a nine-vehicle collision on the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, August 2, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
Traffic congestion is a major challenge for southeastern Vietnam, a key manufacturing area including HCMC, where only 50 km of expressway was completed in the last decade, PM Pham Minh Chinh said.

At a Saturday conference on development of the southeastern region, which comprises Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh Provinces, the prime minister said the region only saw 50 km of expressway being completed in the last 10 years, while other localities would complete 200 km of expressway without asking for funds from the national budget.

The only expressway connecting southeastern Vietnam localities together is the four-lane HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay, which has been operating since 2015. The expressway is frequently overloaded and congested, with around 40,000-43,000 vehicles using it in the weekends.

Chinh said infrastructure connection in the region has not been coordinated, among other issues.

"Traffic jam, unsustainable development, the wealth gap, climate change, inundations and pollutions... are all major challenges for southeastern Vietnam," he said, adding that HCMC and the provinces need groundbreaking policy mechanisms to be more self-reliant.

Chinh has requested the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport to create a fund for traffic infrastructure development per a suggestion by the HCMC People's Committee, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment would create a financial center to mobilize resources.

The region also needs groundbreaking scientific achievements, increases productivity and invests in culture, education and medicine to be on par with economic and political development.

Previously, transport minister Nguyen Van Thang said the southeastern Vietnam region is a key traffic hub, but traffic demands have been burdening its infrastructures. The minisry said around VND413 trillion ($16.6 billion) is needed to invest in expressways to connect the southeastern region.

Phan Van Mai, chairman of the HCMC People's Committee, said that there should be a mechanism for localities in the region and relevant ministries to cooperate regarding mutual goals. For now, there should be cooperation on projects like the Ring Roads 3 and 4, expressways in the region, as well as the expansion of the HCMC-Long Thanh expressway.

Poor traffic flow on expressways connecting with HCMC. Video by VnExpress/Tuan Viet, Hoang Nam

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