26.11.2020, 14:09

Hanoi metro construction violations could cost government coffers dearly


Hanoi metro construction violations could cost government coffers dearly

The Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MBR), which oversees the metro projects in the capital, flouted bidding laws by signing a construction agreement with a contractor before acquiring all the land needed for the work, inspectors reported.

Because of the delay in handing over land, the contractor has sought an additional $40 million, which will likely cause a damage to the state’s coffers, they said.

The MRB also signed a contract with French consulting firm Systra for 25 months at EUR10.6 million ($7.7 million).

The inspectors said it did not foresee the complexity of the project, which resulted in having to pay Systra an extra EUR6.5 million ($12.6 million) after the work was prolonged as a result.

There were also signs laws were flouted in the selection of contractors for the elevated section, they said.

There were differences in the evaluation of this process between the MRB and Systra, the process lacked transparency and showed signs of violations of bidding regulations, they said.

There is also evidence of laws being violated in the bomb and mine clearance process carried out by Ministry of Defence-owned Lung Lo Construction Corporation, they said. The process was yet to be completed as of the time of inspection, and there was contradictory information about the actual work done and its description, they said.

A spokesperson for the MRB said the inspection report has been received but declined to comment further.

Nhon – Hanoi Railway is the city’s second metro route, and runs 12.5 kilometers from the western district of Nam Tu Liem via Kim Ma Street to the railway station in the downtown area.

It will have 8.5 kilometers of elevated tracks and the rest underground. Most of the elevated section has been completed, and the underground section might be finished in 2023.

Its cost has ballooned by 50 percent to EUR1.17 billion ($1.4 billion) due to long delays.