Expansion of Hai Van 2 Tunnel may lag behind schedule hinh anh 1At the construction site (Source: VNA)
Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) - The People’s Committee of central Thua Thien-Hue province has asked Phu Loc district's authorities to hand over the ground for a project expanding the Hai Van 2 Tunnel before July 15. However, the work may lag behind schedule, the provincial committee has said.

The Hai Van Tunnel 2, which was built as a rescue tunnel for Hai Van Tunnel No 1 in 2005, is being expanded to a two-lane, 6.29km-long tunnel to accommodate increasing traffic on the trans-Vietnam National Highway No 1.

The expansion of Hai Van Tunnel 2, which includes 5.85km-long entrance roads on either side, infrastructure and rescue lanes between the two tunnels, is set to cost 7.2 trillion (317.2 million). It is scheduled to go into operation in 2020.

However, in early July, only 25 percent of the construction of the bridge and tunnel for Hai Van Tunnel 2 was completed - when it should be 38 percent. The reason of the slow progress was that some households obstructed the construction, claiming that the compensation for their land was not satisfactory.

Currently, the investor has received 18 out of 19 hectares of land, reaching 94.2 percent of the project’s site clearance. As many as 18 households have refused to move, claiming that the compensation was low compared to the actual land prices. They have asked authorised agencies to re-calculate and apply a new rate of compensation.

To address this issue, on June 29, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment asked the provincial People’s Committee to consider a new rate of compensation. It would take 20 days to complete the procedure.

The provincial People’s Committee also mentioned the mass fish death in Phu Loc district’s Lang Co town. Last year, fish bred in cages in An Cu Dong 2 died en masse without a clear cause. Farmers blamed the incident on a discharge of wastewater from the overpass of Hai Van Tunnel, and claimed compensation from the investor.

By this May, authorised agencies approved compensation of more than 5.3 billion (233,000) for 25 affected households. However, Phu Loc district’s authorities were slow at checking and paying compensation for these households, leading to protests from those who have not received the money.

The project also affected the water flow of Lang Co and Lap An lagoons, causing landsides for the surrounding areas. Roughly 400 households were reported to be affected, but many have not received financial support.

Local residents have asked authorised agencies to conduct an environmental impact assessment to get proper compensation.

To deal with the issue, the provincial committee has asked the management board of the project to work closely with local authorities to implement site clearance and pay proper compensation to those affected.-VNA