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Overcoming difficulties to finish the task on schedule

“There is no story that the investor suspended construction of Trung Luong - My Thuan Expressway”. That was the affirmation of Mr. Ho Minh Hoang, Chairman of Trung Luong - My Thuan BOT Co. before the suspension of the Management Board.

Clear up misunderstanding of material quality

The company has run a check but they did not find any violation; therefore they did not have any solutions yet. In addition, a number of papers gave out improper news, making staff in the project puzzled. The Board of Executive had requested a temporary stop for finding and clarify violations (if any) to have control on origin and quality of materials provided to the project by adjusting checking procedures.

In addition, implementation of social distancing affected the schedule. What is more, dykes for saline intrusion made material transport difficult. However, the President of the Board of Administration of Trung Luong - My Thuan Group affirmed to keep his commitment to the Prime Minister: the work will be finished by Tet of 2021 to serve people’s transport on Tet holiday and will be completely finished by the end of 2021.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, Deputy General Director of Trung Luong- My Thuan BOT Co., said until December of 2019, the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province handled 100% land of the main route. A number of works of infrastructure, telecommunication and electricity needed to be removed will be finished in the second quarter of 2020.

Besides, although there have been negative impacts from the pandemic of COVID-19 that have affected the whole society, all staff has strictly implemented measurements against the pandemic in accordance to the guideline from the PM in the Direction no.16/CT-TTg dated March 31st, 2020. With determination of overcoming difficulties, the project has been finished over 40% (a 30% increase compared to the time of March 2019). Until April 2020, the contractors on site have been speeding up the work of treating weak ground. Wick drains have been installed at all tender package, layer reinforcement has been focused on, together with observing consolidated standards in accordance to technical instructions.

“Investors and related parties frequently check the work quality as regulated. Changing states of all the items is allowed only when the work is checked in accordance to the Project regulation,” affirmed Vinh.

Currently the investor has installed 50 monitoring cameras in all the site and have an inspection group giving daily reports in photos. The investors will install more cameras at asphalt concrete mixing stations in the coming time.

Vinh also said a 7-step checking process has been set up to check materials at mine, in transport process, at the lab and when transporting to the site. Unqualified materials will be eliminated.

As a respond for the coronavirus outbreak, a number of senior consultants in the sytem wrote a letter to suggest making a reduction of their remuneration to share difficulties with the group. However, Ho Minh Hoang- President of the Board of Administration of Deo Ca Group, President of the Board of Administration of Trung Luong - My Thuan BOT Co.- did not agree and affirmed:” Although we suffered from negative impacts from the pandemic, Deo Ca Group does not delay salary payment or make any reduction to anyone of the staff in the whole system”.

“We are making attempts to set out appropriate work solution to ensure our employees’ income, we left no one behind. We have been able to do that for our 35 years of development. The group will not make late salary payment or any reduction, financial accumulation has always been reserved for enterprise’s risks. The first priority is for employees’ payment,” Hoang said

Although there has been no particular assistance from the Government for impacts from the pandemic, Deo Ca Group has done it in its own way: In the holidays of April 30th and the Laborers’ Day of May 1st, rewarding salary will be maintained for all staff in the group.

According to Tran Van Bon- Director of the Department of Transport of Tien Giang Province, there was some information about quality of project materials. And the department worked with the Project Board of Management and the BOT company to have a check on materials in the site. At the current time, quality of the materials used in the site ensure the technical standards, especially with the item of reinforcing weak ground.

Unable to finish settlement of the budget

Currently, the owner’s capital and credit capital have been disbursed to meet the project’s schedule; the capital from the national budget has been unsettled. Particularly, VND 2,186bn of the National Budget was planned for the project, VND 1,776bn was disbursed by the People’s Committee, VND 410bn has not been disbursed.

With the capital that has not been disburse, the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province had documents sent to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Planning& Investment (the Documents no.5016/UBND-KTTC, no.5542/UBND-KTTC dated December 24th, 2019), and the Ministries had responding documents (the Documents no.15299/BTC-DT dated December 17th, 2019, no.272/BGTVT-KHDT dated January 9th, 2020 and no.514/BKHDT-KTDPLT dated January 22nd, 2020).

On the basis, the PM has direction (Conclusion Announcement no.93/TB-VPCP dated March 8th, 2020) asking “… the People’s Committee of Tien Giang province solves the matter of the remaining national budget. The investor is responsible for managing and using it efficiently as planned”.

On March 18th, 2020, the People’s Committee had the document no.1138/UBND-KTTC asking for guideline of using the national budget to assist the project. On March 19th, 2020, the Government Office continued to have the document no.2115/ VPCP-KTTH to the Ministry of Planning& Investment, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance to ask for their ideas to the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province’s request.

So, after nearly 5 months since the PM’s decision of handling capital to the project there is still VND 410bn of the National Budget that has not been disbursed. (The commitment on assisting capital from the authorized State’s organizations and the investors has not been carryout in accordance to the signed contract).

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