Land clearance remains one of the toughest obstacles for the construction of many national projects, officials of the transport industry stated on November 12 in an online discussion on progress and quality of transport construction.

Currently, there are 26 major transport projects nationwide with a total investment of nearly 575 billion VND (27 million USD); seven of which have been completed and 19 still in progress. Many projects among these are lagging behind anticipated schedules.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the country's land clearance policy depended largely on the different conditions of different areas. He added that resident dissatisfaction with offers on land compensation hindered major project progress.

The director of the Civil Engineering Construction Company No 4 (Cienco 4), Le Ngoc Hoa, said contractors also needed to co-operate with project consultants and supervisory groups.

He cited the highway project from Nhat Tan Brigde to Noi Bai Airport, in which Cienco 4 provided considerable support to local residents for land clearances. "We have to increase the expenditures but we have to clean construction site sooner. In the end, we save more," he said.

Truong Quang Thieu, head of Hanoi's Land Clearing Department, said issues on resettlement must be tackled to uphold the rights of residents.

Officials also admitted during the online discussion that many projects had degraded shortly after being put in to use. Pot-holes and road depressions were located on Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Highway six months after its completion. Some parts of Lang-Hoa Lac Highway are currently flooded.

Pham Tuan Anh, vice head of the Ministry of Transport's Department for Management of Traffic Work Construction and Quality, said road depressions had occurred on many highways and roads, threatening severe accidents. He added that the Ministry of Transport had attempted to address the problem.

Overweight trucks were one reason for the damage, said Deputy Minister Nguyen Hong Tuong, adding that the country needed to import the tar used for building roads and was unable to ensure quality. He confirmed that the examinations showed no violations in terms of corruption.

Minister Dinh La Thang recently asked contractors to repair damage to the National Highway No.1 before December 31 this year. He also demanded that contractors to maintain the roads for up to 5 years and withdraw consultant fees for repairing violations.-VNA