First half of Vietnam’s north-south expressway to displace 2,100 families
At least 2,100 families are going to be relocated and more than 8,000 others will also be affected by ground clearance for the first half of the planned north-south expressway connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the government said.
The government said in a recent report to the legislative National Assembly that around 3,523 hectares (8,705 acres) will need to be cleared to make way for the first half of the north-south expressway in the next three years.
It said compensation and support for the affected families will cost an estimated VND13 trillion ($573.5 million) from the state budget.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month gave the green light to a proposal by the transport ministry to build the 1,372-kilometer (852-mile) expressway.
The entire project is expected to cost more than VND312 trillion and the government has pledged VND55 trillion to help with ground clearance and relocation. The rest of the funds are expected to come from private sources, it said.
Construction is scheduled to start this year and the first phase over 713 kilometers will be completed in 2022, connecting Hanoi with the central tourist town of Hue.
Sources said ground clearance for the second phase of the road will commence at a later date to avoid wasting land.
The expressway will run through 16 cities and provinces, connecting economic centers, industrial zones and seaports.
Vietnam’s state budget is strained at present with revenue falling following cuts to import taxes as part of the country’s commitments to free trade deals. The government estimated public debt at the end of 2016 at 63.7 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
The World Bank has forecast Vietnam’s public debt will rise to 64.4 percent in 2017 and 64.7 percent in 2018.
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