Hanoi sets new operation deadline for metro line

By Vo Hai   March 12, 2023 | 10:40 pm PT
Hanoi sets new operation deadline for metro line
Two trains have a test run on the elevated tracks of the Nhon - Hanoi Station metro line, December 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
The elevated section of the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line should start running in August, Hanoi has recently announced after the city missed the previous deadline.

In a recent statement sent to the central government, Hanoi authorities said the Nhon–Hanoi metro line will have its final contract package completed in May so that the entire line will be assessed for safety approval in August.

The line's elevated section, however, will be put into service in August, the city promised.

The Nhon-Hanoi Station route, the capital's second metro line, is to run 12.5 kilometers from Nhon in the western district of Nam Tu Liem, via Kim Ma Street to the downtown Hanoi Railway Station.

The route's elevated section was initially scheduled for completion in February 2018 but it was later delayed to December 2022.

The Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB), which manages the entire project, said last July that it's unlikely that the elevated track will meet the deadline set for December 2022, and added that it's not clear when the section can be finished.

The Hanoi People's Committee explained that the section has not been finished as the contractor, Hanoi Construction Corp, is "not capable of" fulfilling the VND800 billion ($34.27 million) contract, while the project manager and the consultant unit had failed to coordinate properly with related agencies in carrying out the project.

The committee also admitted that it has not been strict in directing the implementation of the project or addressing problems occurring during the construction of the project.

Aside from adjusting the deadline for the completion of the elevated tracks, the city also rescheduled the deadline for operating the entire line to 2027 and raised the total investment fund of the line by almost VND1.9 trillion (US$80.75 million) to VND34.826 trillion.

This marks the second time the project’s capital has been readjusted, with the first readjustment made in 2014 to raise the funding from VND18 trillion to around VND33 trillion.

When construction started in 2009, the Nhon–Hanoi Station metro line was originally set for completion in 2015. Until now, it has been rescheduled four times.

The entire line is now 75.6% complete, with the elevated section 97.6% finished and the underground section 33%.

Work on the 4-kilometer underground section had also been suspended for over a year from July 2021 to late last year by the South Korean-Italian joint venture contractor Hyundai E&C-Ghella since the site had not yet been cleared.

The capital city’s first metro line, also the country’s first, Cat Linh - Ha Dong, started running in November last year.

The project, spanning 13 kilometers, also had its cost increased from the original estimate of VND8.769 trillion in 2008 to VND18 trillion in 2017. Several delays extended its construction time to a decade before it began operating in November, 2021.

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