HCM City asked to reduce traffic jams ahead of Tet hinh anh 1PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the teleconference (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged authorities of Ho Chi Minh City to devise immediate and long-term solutions to the worsening traffic congestion in the city, especially during the upcoming Lunar New Year festival.

During a teleconference with representatives from the municipal authorities on January 23, the PM asked for more efforts to speed up infrastructure projects.

According to HCM City officials, traffic congestions occur in many areas across the city, seriously affecting locals’ daily activities.

In 2016, the city had 37 traffic jam hotspots, especially in roads to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the Cat Lai port, the city centre, and routes from outskirts to the inner city.         
The city needs 38.3 trillion VND (nearly 1.7 billion USD) for urgent projects to reduce traffic jams in 2017, and about 323.9 trillion VND in the 2016-2020 period.

The city asked the Government to permit the municipal authorities to call for tenders for a number of projects under the programme to reduce traffic jams and accidents in 2016-2020.

Representatives from ministries and sectors to the conference proposed a wide range of solutions to the issue, suggesting applying information technology in traffic management and developing underground transport.

The municipal authorities were requested to strictly implement Directive 18 of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on enhancing the Party's leadership for ensuring road, railway and domestic water way traffic order and safety and addressing traffic congestion.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung attributed the traffic congestion in HCM City to higher population growth than infrastructure development speed, saying that Vietnam should learn from international experience in developing transport infrastructure in order to effectively tackle the issue.

Regarding long-term measures, PM Phuc asked the city to make good urban planning, limit the construction of high buildings, reduce means of transport, and promote public transport systems.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to early outline a plan on underground transport in HCM City and submit to the Government for approval.

The PM also required the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with the municipal People’s Committee to reorganise the traffic regulating system, run campaigns to raise public awareness of traffic culture and safety, and increase penalties for traffic violations

The city must limit immigrants to the city downtown through the building of satellite urban areas and collect fees on cars running in the centre of the city to reduce the number of vehicles, he added.-VNA