The Ministry of Transport will penalise parties involved in the mismanagement of the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh expressway which led to a blowout of its initial budget, announced the ministry on June 12.

The decision was made following a proposal by the State Audit of Vietnam based on post-construction inspections of the project.

The Cau Gie-Ninh Binh highway cost more than 8.9 trillion VND (423.8 million USD) to build, more than double the budget approved in 2005, according to the State Audit of Vietnam.

The 54km road, with six lanes and a designated speed of 100-120km/hr, opened in 2012.

In 2005, the Build-Operate-Transfer project was approved with a budget of 3.73 trillion VND (177.6 million USD). However, project investor, the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), adjusted the budget and design twice.

The VEC failed to conduct a hydrographic survey, instead using hydrographic statistics and calculations from similar projects. The highway also failed to meet technical standards regarding cement quality and road surface height.

The ministry has slammed leaders of the VEC and the project management board for the wrongdoings.

The ministry has given its first warning to the Transport Consultancy and Design Corporation and auxiliary contractors and has publicised the violations on its website.

The project's Cuban consultant Quality Couriers International has also been banned from participating in projects invested by VEC for the next two years, while ten Cuban consultants were banned from working as consultants for transport construction projects in Vietnam.-VNA