Effort to Clear Bottlenecks of Transport Infrastructure

9:17:04 AM | 8/9/2022

With its strong determination and drastic involvement, Can Tho authorities at all levels are consistently carrying out tasks and solutions to remove "development bottlenecks" in transportation infrastructure to unlock local potential advantages for Can Tho City's robust development. Mr. Le Tien Dung, Director of the Can tho Department of Transport, grants an exclusive interview on this matter to our reporter.

Currently, central and local authorities are carrying out many large projects in the Mekong Delta region. What is the part of the Can Tho transport industry in this process?

In order to clear "development bottlenecks" for the Mekong Delta, the Ministry of Transport is investing in key projects, including projects running through Can Tho City like Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway which opened to traffic on April 30, 2022; My Thuan 2 Bridge and My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway (to be completed in 2023); upgraded Cao Lanh-Lo Te Road and upgraded Lo Te-Rach Soi Road on Western North-South Expressway (to be built in 2022 - 2025 period).

To have a synchronous connection with the above highways, Can Tho has also carried out many big projects, including Western Ring Road (linked to National Highway 91 and National Highway 61C); Alley 91 (from Long Tuyen to Western Ring Road); five upgraded intersections in Ninh Kieu district; Provincial Road 917; Provincial Road 918; Provincial Road 921; Provincial Road 923 and Co Do Bridge. In the near future, the Can Tho transport system will connect seamlessly with the external transport network to the Mekong Delta provinces.

Regarding waterways, the Ministry of Transport is investing in developing national waterways and logistics corridors in the southern region and building Cho Gao Canal - Phase 2 (starting on December 19, 2021). On that basis, the city will call for investment funds in building passenger and cargo ports (the old Can Tho Ferry Landing Area) and some passenger inland ports on the Hau and Can Tho rivers to serve routes from the shore to islands, to Mekong Delta provinces, to Ho Chi Minh City and to the whole country.

Regarding sea routes, the Ministry of Transport launched a project of a passageway for large ships entering the Hau River (second phase) on December 28, 2021. The City People's Committee submitted Report 61/TTr-UBND dated May 5, 2022 to the Prime Minister for consideration, seeking him to assign the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of National Defense and the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises to jointly counsel the establishment of a joint venture enterprise to operate Cai Cui Port most effectively.

For airways, the Ministry of Transport is preparing a project to “direct fundraising for airport infrastructure”, including the pilot handover of investment and operation rights to upgrade airports, to upgrade Can Tho International Airport as planned to reach an annual capacity of 7 million passengers in the 2021 - 2030 period. After the project is approved, the ministry will work with other ministries, sectors and cities to formulate a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investment plan and submit it to the Prime Minister for decision. Can Tho City is also reviewing and supplementing the plan for the construction of the Mekong Delta Center for Agricultural Cooperation, Production, Processing and Consumption in Can Tho City (with a 100-hectare logistics center to serve cargo at the Can Tho International Airport for integration into the Can Tho Planning Project.

Regarding railways, in 2022 - 2025, the Ministry of Transport is making a pre-feasibility study report for Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho Railway, (collected comments on this report at the meeting of the Can Tho People's Committee on May 12, 2022) for launching the project before 2030. The city has reviewed and supplemented the land plan for the surrounding TOD Urban Area and roads connected to railway stations for integration into Can Tho City Planning Project to ensure synchronous and continuous operation of railway stations.

Participating in the above process, Can Tho City is prioritizing the budget for projects administered by the city. The city is also funding VND1,061 billion to support 50% of site clearance costs for projects; strengthening effective management of construction and land planning; speeding up site clearance and resettlement to ensure that projects are put into operation as planned.

The National Assembly issued Resolution 45/2022/QH15 on piloting several specific mechanisms and policies for Can Tho City development. What development opportunities is this Resolution creating for the local transport sector?

Up to 70% of goods in the Mekong Delta have been transported by road to international ports in the Southeast region (17-18 million tons, worth US$18 billion a year), leading to an increase in costs (10-40% of cost), causing great difficulties for people and businesses.

Can Tho has maritime routes on the Hau River and Can Tho Seaport, a national general port and a traffic hub of the region. Its Cai Cui Wharf can receive ships of up to 20,000 tons and other wharves (such as Hoang Dieu - Binh Thuy, Tra Noc - O Mon, Thot Not) along the Hau River can accommodate vessels of 10,000 - 20,000 tons. In addition, Dinh An-Can Tho Canal that connects Dinh An Estuary (Tra Vinh) to Chau Doc (An Giang) and Cambodia on the Hau River, passing through Can Tho, is a great advantage to developing sea shipping and turning Can Tho into a regional logistics center.

However, Dinh An Canal is naturally deposited but it has not been dredged since 2017 due to insufficient budget. As a result, ships of over 7,000 tons cannot enter the Hau River. The introduction of mechanisms and policies to launch dredging projects for Dinh An-Can Tho Canal is extremely urgent to ensure navigational standards for ships of over 10,000 tons to enter Can Tho ports.

In the coming time, when Can Tho develops its synchronous infrastructure, it will be able to draw exports, an advantage to boost economic growth for Can Tho and sharpen regional competitiveness.

How is Can Tho city speeding up the project of dredging Dinh An-Can Tho Canal as per Resolution 45/2022/QH15 of the 15th National Assembly?

Can Tho City is asking the Ministry of Transport for several contents: To study and consider adjusting the scale of dredging the canal for vessels of 10,000 tons or more entering and leaving ports on the Hau River, with an expected depth of 6.5-10.5m. The canal is on the list of seaport dredging projects administered by the Ministry of Transport (Decision 963/QD-BGTVT dated May 31, 2021) while adding forms of investment incentives and supports specified in Article 7 of Resolution 45/2022/QH15 to the list of projects to woo investors.

After the project list was adjusted, Can Tho City coordinated with the Ministry of Transport, project-affected provinces and the Vietnam Maritime Administration to call on investors to put forth specific plans on the scale and design standards, construction technology and product salvage plans. After conducting research to ensure (technical and economic) feasibility, investors are responsible for submitting such reports to the Vietnam Maritime Administration for appraisal and submission to the Ministry of Transport for consideration and approval and direct relevant bodies to take the next steps.

What recommendations does the transport sector want to deliver to ministries and central agencies and how is it committed to investors who are coming to Can Tho?

In order to create development breakthroughs for Can Tho and the Mekong Delta region, the Government of Vietnam issued major guidelines and decisions, including Resolution 13-NQ/TW dated April 2, 2022, Resolution 59-NQ/TW dated August 5, 2020 of the Politburo, Resolution 45/2022/QH15 of the 15th National Assembly. On that basis, Can Tho City will work with provinces to propose the Central Government further prioritize and create a mechanism for the Mekong Delta to mobilize various capital sources to the fullest extent to build synchronous and modern transport infrastructure.

Can Tho City will also further mobilize all available investment sources for inland waterway ports, passenger bus stations, public parking lots, public bus stations and smart transportation. The city will facilitate and apply the most open mechanisms and policies and readily remove difficulties for investors to soon launch and put projects into operation to bring practical effects to businesses and local socioeconomic development.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum