A train of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro section in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The safety evaluation of Hanoi’s first metro route is set to finish by December, which will enable commercial operations to begin next year.
By mid-November some 10 experts from France would come to Vietnam to carry out the evaluation of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro section, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
It has been delayed for months due to international flight restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry hopes to begin operation of the metro by the first quarter of next year, The said.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had in June called for beginning it this year.
There are three remaining categories of equipment to be evaluated, but the main task now is to conduct test runs and complete payments and the paperwork, The said.
At the meeting, Phuc ordered the ministry and Hanoi city authorities to quickly complete the remaining work but said “safety must be the top priority” since any accident would have major consequences.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro section runs 13 kilometers from downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia in the southwestern Ha Dong District. It is part of one of eight lines planned to be built.
Construction began in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it.
Its cost has doubled to VND18 trillion ($776.77 million), with 77 percent of it coming from official development assistance loans from China.