The Cau Gie - Ninh Binh section, part of the eastern north - south highway (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The construction of north – south highways is necessary and cannot be delayed, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said at a meeting on the issue in Hanoi on July 7.

Talking to ministry officials, he stressed that the expressways will support national development and the economy’s competitiveness.

Although expanded transport infrastructure over the past years has helped fuel economic growth and raise people’s living conditions, it still failed to meet industrialisation and modernisation demand, he pointed.

Dung requested the eastern north – south highway, running parallel to National Road 1, be completed in 2020 at the latest. That will be a prerequisite for building other expressways and reaching the target of at least 2,000km of highways to be formed by 2020.

The easterly the north – south highway, with a length of 1,814km, will run from Phap Van road in Hanoi to the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. Meanwhile the westerly fraction will follow the direction of Ho Chi Minh road.

With a total length of 171km, several sections of the easterly facility have been put into use such as Phap Van – Cau Gie – Ninh Binh (in the north), Ho Chi Minh City – Trung Luong and HCM City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay in the south.

Another 302km are being constructed like the sections of La Son – Tuy Loan and Da Nang – Quang Ngai in the central region, Ben Luc – Long Thanh and Trung Luong – My Thuan in the south, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Deputy PM Dung asked for attracting private funding for the construction of the highways, which was suggested to use the public – private partnership model, noting that private capital must be higher than that from the State budget.

He told the ministries of transport and finance to devise State capital allocation mechanisms for the project, and ensure reasonable road tolls and toll collection duration, so as to solicit investors from Vietnam and other countries.

They also have to work with the ministries of planning and investment, construction, and natural resources and environment to work out a detailed blueprint for developing expressways, especially the easterly north – south one, the official added.-VNA