HCM City vows to speed up work on first metro line hinh anh 1An elevated section of HCM City’s Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro line running along the Hanoi Highway (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Ho Chi Minh City's authorities have pledged to help contractors speed up work on the first metro line between Ben Thanh Market in district 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in district 9 so that it can be completed by the end of next year.

Speaking at a meeting on February 5, Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the much-awaited metro has been long delayed due to a shortage of funds and issues related to land acquisition.

The project is expected to be 85 percent complete this year, he said. “A joint effort is needed between the Japanese and the city governments to achieve the result.

“The contractors, design consultants and workers all play a role in speeding up the progress.

“The city will strive to ensure the project is completed by 2021 or even earlier,” he said.

Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the HCM City Management Board of Urban Railway (MAUR), said the target is to complete 85 percent of the work this year and fully done by the end of next year.

Recently, the People’s Committee decided to reduce the cost of the metro by 3.4 trillion VND (146.8 million USD) after a review of all its related costs.

Hoan assured the cost cut would not affect the project quality.

The city has advanced 1.7 trillion VND to the contractors, construction units and workers so that the work could continue. The line is the first of the city’s eight proposed routes.

It comprises four main packages and is funded in part through an official development assistance loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Since construction began in 2012, it has faced a multitude of problems, including slow funds disbursement and a personnel crisis. 

It will run 20 kilometres through districts 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh, and Thu Duc and the neighbouring Binh Duong province./.