Vietnam would need up to 713 trillion VND (34.6 billion USD) to restore and develop road safety corridors from 2011-20, according to estimates from the Directorate for Roads.

At a meeting last week in Hanoi , the directorate revealed that the money would be used to compensate residents whose land was seized and to remove construction works that have caused traffic problems on the corridors.

The estimates indicate that 70 trillion VND (3.4 billion USD) should be spent every year on roads, but participants at the meeting had doubts about the feasibility of this figure, considering the current state of the national budget.

The meeting aimed to review the second phase [from the third quarter of 2008 to 2010] of the Prime Minister's 2007 decision on road safety corridors, and also to plan for the third phase [from 2010-20].

Four years after the decision, violations are still being reported along many road corridors, according to the directorate's report.

Deputy head of the directorate's Science and Technology and Traffic Safety Department Pham Minh Tam said common violations were encroaching properties, illegal constructions and cross-roads, causing traffic jams and accidents.

Several road management boards have asked the ministry to report to the Prime Minister about the situation in order to make sure the third phase can be implemented in a timely fashion.

In addition, they are advocating punishment for relevant authorities who do not comply.

According to the decision's regulations, the provincial People's Committee has to pay for the third phase of the plan.

However, Vice Chairman of Nghe An provincial People's Committee Huynh Thanh Dien said there was simply not enough money to move forward.

Dien asked the transport sector to adjust its plans and bring them in line with the Government's capital resources, in order to ensure the feasibility of the plan.

"In the next 10 years, the province would need 7.13 trillion VND (346 million USD) for land clearance. The costs would be higher due to inflation," Dien said.

Representatives from the transport departments of other cities and provinces including Da Nang, Hoa Binh, Nghe An and the Central Highlands also said that localities could not afford to spend money for the road safety corridors, as they were first and foremost concerned with improving the lives of their neediest citizens. /.