The Ministry of Transport and the World Bank (WB) jointly held a seminar in Hanoi on April 4 to discuss ways to boost the sustainable maintenance of rural roads in Vietnam.

As part of a programme to implement the WB-funded Third Rural Transport Project (TRTP), the seminar provided an overview of the road maintenance in the country as well as plans to finance the work.

Participants discussed successes and challenges of a community-based maintenance model in northern Lao Cai province and the expansion of this model to other localities, including central Quang Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces.

The TRTP has been implemented in 33 northern and central provinces and cities with the aim of building rural road systems that facilitate the travel of people and improve their access to socio-economic and culture centres.

By 2012, the project had upgraded about 2,100 km of road and completed the maintenance of 13,000 km of district-level roads and bridges. It is expected to benefit up to 5 million people in the targeted provinces, including 14 mountainous ones.

Vietnam’s road network now includes 196,404 km of rural roads, serving around 75 percent of the country’s population.-VNA