Experts concerned about funds for city efforts to reduce traffic jam

Many major infrastructure projects under HCMC’s traffic jam and accident reduction program are scheduled to implement this year but experts have expressed concern about funds for these projects amid currently limited capital resources.

Pham Van Dong street connects Tan Son Nhat International Airport with HCMC’s eastern entrance gateway (Photo: SGGP)

Pham Van Dong street connects Tan Son Nhat International Airport with HCMC’s eastern entrance gateway (Photo: SGGP)

Despite lot of efforts last year, the city’s traffic agencies solved only four out of 37 traffic jam spots. The area for traffic increased 84.7 hectares over 2016 to 7,841 hectares. Still total road length raised by only 1 percent or 41.6 kilometers.
Meantime, highly surging vehicles day after day have worsened traffic congestion. During peak time, streets leading to Tan Son Nhat Airport, Cat Lai Seaport and the center area of HCMC are regularly congested. Travel is extremely difficult in city entrance gateways during holidays.
The Department of Transport has committed to speeding up major infrastructure projects to tackle traffic jam in the city to implement one of seven breakthrough programs of HCMC this year.
Director of the department Bui Xuan Cuong said that they would synchronously implement solutions to tackle traffic jam and shorten investment preparation time to accelerate projects’ progress, propose policies to attract investment resources and intensify regional traffic connectivity.
Of these, the agency will update and adjust city transport development plan and carry out regulations and solutions to connect localities in the southern key economic zone.
Specifically it will speed up traffic projects in the eastern part of the city including a parallel road with HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway and ring road no.2.
The Transport Department will urge relevant sides to complete six works to reduce traffic jam in Tan Son Nhat Airport area including Cong Hoa street upgrade and Hoang Hoa Tham street expansion.
Construction progress of new Mien Dong and Mien Tay coach stations and other passenger transport works will be stepped up.
Capital source concern
Experts have expressed concern about capital resource to implement tens of projects at the same time, saying the city need to give priority to arranging funds for these projects and show very high determination to complete major ones under the city’s traffic jam and accident reduction program this year.
Mr. Bui Xuan Cuong said that since early 2018, the agency has concentrated on completing investment procedures to start 2 new projects in the first quarter.
The agency will give priority to part projects of ring road no.2, Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway, National Highway 1A, National Highway 22 and urban traffic works to connect HCMC with Long An province.
The NA’s Resolution 54 on piloting special mechanisms for HCMC will bring the city income from state own enterprise equitization, traffic penalties and other fees for these projects.
The Department of Transport has proposed HCMC People’s Committee to require relevant agencies to build a scheme to implement traffic related contents in Resolution 54 and the resolution of HCMC People’s Council, issue investment management process for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
The committee should require 24 districts to drastically conduct site clearance for traffic works and stipulate site clearance time according to project scale as well as responsibilities of relevant sides in case site clearance affects the progress of main projects.

By QUOC HUNG - Translated by Hai Mien

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