Second HCMC metro line site clearance nears completion

By Gia Minh   March 13, 2024 | 03:26 pm PT
Second HCMC metro line site clearance nears completion
Houses on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in District 3, HCMC, are dismantled to give space for HCMC's metro line No.2. Photo by VnExpress/Ha Giang
An additional 57 houses affected by the Ben Thanh - Tham Luong metro line have been fully compensated, which means 90% of the site needed for the project has been cleared.

The authorities of District 3 on Tuesday handed over the land of 42 families and 15 organizations to the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Management Board (MAUR), which manages all metro projects in the city.

Tran Thanh Binh, District 3's vice chairman, stated that the total area needed for the line spans nearly 7,200 sq.m in the district, affecting 112 cases.

Binh promised that the district is accelerating the process to handle the remaining cases to hand over the entire site for metro line 2 development as soon as possible.

The site clearance plan for the line was approved in 2010 but it took until 2015 for HCMC to form a team to take care of compensating and relocating affected families.

However, just one year after the team was formed, the compensation process was suspended as the relocation plan was adjusted.

In 2019, when the deadline for completing the metro was approved to be pushed to 2026, the city started to speed up the site clearance progress, but another issue emerged: disagreements in compensation in District 3.

District 3 lies in downtown HCMC where land prices are higher and the average rates. As a result, the MAUR had to wait longer than needed for the city People's Committee to determine the land price coefficient for the district. Based on the coefficient, affected families in the district disagreed with the compensation they were offered, drawing out negotiations.

In April last year, the government approved a delay in the project schedule in order to hire a new consultant after MAUR failed to renew an earlier contract, which was in fact another issue contributing to delaying the project furthermore.

Accordingly, the line is now scheduled to be "basically completed" in 2030, with the official opening planned in 2032. Originally, it was planned to be up and running by 2016.

The original $1.3-billion price tag ballooned to $2.1 billion by 2019.

The city's first metro line, after frequent and long delays, is expected to enter commercial operations this July.

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