The Government Inspectorate has just announced various violations at a long-delayed Hanoi metro project.
A section of the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro project.
According to the conclusions of the inspection, which was carried out following a complaint by former deputy head of Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board Luong Xuan Binh, there were many problems and shortcomings in the contract with French consultancy firm Systra.
‘The contract contains many ambiguous contents that can be interpreted differently by concerned parties including consultancy firm Systra, the project’s investor Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, and other agencies in Vietnam,’ the inspection said.
The contract was adjusted to include higher costs, not because of rising work for Systra but due to their slow performance. The investor failed to define the consultant’s responsibilities for their slow work in the adjusted contract.
The Government Inspectors noted that the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, the local departments of Planning and Architecture, and Planning and Investment should all take responsibility for this.
The inspection results also showed signs of legal violations in the unexploded ordnance and mine clearance package carried out by Lung Lo Construction Corporation.
By the time the inspection team came, the take-over and payment processes could not be done due to errors in the amount and methods of work which failed to comply with the approved plans.
In order to meet the project’s progress, the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board had sought help from the Ministry of Defence which assigned the Engineer Command to join in the work.
After finishing the clearance work, the Engineer Command and the Lung Lo Construction Corporation signed a document when handing over the site to the investor. However, the inspection team said that this did not include the evaluation and take-over processes and so failed to follow the Ministry of Defence’s regulations.
Possible losses to the state budget
The inspection team noted that there were grounds in the complaint by former deputy head of Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board Luong Xuan Binh about the violations in the selection and contract signings with contractors for Package 1 and 3 of the project.
“The Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board had signed contract with the contractor for the Package 3 when the site clearance was not completed,” the inspection said. “The slow hand-over of the site resulted in the contractor asking for additional fees of USD40 million”.
Nhon-Hanoi Station metro line is 12.5km long with 8.5km elevated sections and 4km underground sections.
At a press conference held in Hanoi last month, head of the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, Nguyen Cao Minh said 65.91% of the project had been completed by the end of September and they would try to operate the elevated section in the second half of 2021.
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