The Ministry of Transport and its efforts to tackle challenges

The determination of the Ministry of Transport in recent times, the focus on progress rather than setbacks, has helped put thousands of kilometers of highways and many major transport projects into operation. This resolute approach has been highly praised by the Government and the people, instilling a strong belief in this determined effort.


Constructing the unprecedented North-South Expressway

When it comes to the construction of the North-South Expressway, the Ministry of Transport has implemented resolute and synchronized solutions to ensure its completion. As a result, most sections of the North-South Expressway have been completed on schedule.

Minister Nguyen Van Thang inspecting the Can Tho – Hau Giang expressway construction site.

This has been achieved through the leadership of the Ministry of Transport, Minister Nguyen Van Thang, and slogans such as “overcoming challenges, winning against adversities”, “only moving forward, never retreating”… The prioritization of resources has been instrumental in completing these major transportation projects.

Specifically, during the construction of the 2017-2020 sections of the North-South Expressway (Phase 1), the progress was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many construction sites had to close for several months to prevent the spread of the virus. Following that, there was a shortage of construction materials, causing some sections of the expressway to be at risk of falling behind schedule. Faced with this serious situation, the Ministry of Transport, Project Management Boards, and contractors devised a plan to implement three shifts at the construction sites, with no days off during the week or holidays. In particular, the “120 days and nights Campaign” was launched with the determination to open four North-South Expressway projects within 2022.

The Diem Chau – Bai Vot section of the North-South Expressway is experiencing delays in multiple phases.

Subsequently, the four component projects of Phase 1 of the North-South Expressway, including Mai Son – National Highway 45 with a length of 63.4 km; Cam Lo – La Son with a length of 98.3 km; Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet with a length of 100.8 km; and Phan Thiet – Dau Giay with a length of 99 km, have been completed on schedule, with the Mai Son – National Highway 45 project even completed one month ahead of schedule.

Afterwards, the Ministry of Transport and the Project Management Board, together with other stakeholders, held a launching ceremony for the “120 days and nights Campaign to complete the My Thuan – Can Tho expressway project”. With the aim of maximizing productivity at the construction site, the contractors had to focus on the specific plans for each task, setting clear milestones for monitoring, evaluation, and risk avoidance. As of December 24, 2023, the My Thuan – Can Tho expressway, My Thuan 2 Bridge, and two other major works have been completed on schedule.

The contractor for the Cam Lam – Vinh Hao section of the North-South Expressway.

When the Phase 2 of the North-South Expressway projects faced the risk of a shortage of materials (soil, sand) for subgrade construction, Minister Nguyen Van Thang planned visits to each locality to discuss solutions with local leaders. The approach was to tackle issues where they emerged. If the problem exceeded the jurisdiction of the Ministry, both the Ministry and the local government would report to the Government for guidance and resolution. As a result, the Government has implemented several specific mechanisms to address the difficulties in supplying construction materials for the North-South Expressway. At the present time, the material supply issues for the expressway have been largely resolved.

In particular, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Construction organized a dialogue conference to address the challenges and obstacles. Recommendations were subsequently sent to the Government. On January 9, 2024, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued Dispatch No. 02/CD-TTg directing the removal of difficulties and obstacles related to construction standards, unit prices; exploration, supply of construction materials for key national transportation projects.

Minister Nguyen Van Thang and the Ministry of Transport’s delegation inspecting the Long Thanh Airport site.

The Ministry of Transport is one of the highest-rated ministries for its administrative procedure reforms in various specialized management departments. At the summary conference of 2023 tasks and the deployment of 2024 tasks for the transport industry, during his speech, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh acknowledged and praised the achievements and results of the Ministry of Transport.

The Ministry of Transport has provided timely recommendations to the Government and the Prime Minister, proposing decisive measures to address difficulties and obstacles, particularly those related to multiple ministries, sectors, and localities, such as land clearance, material supply, and decentralization. These have been promptly resolved.

In addition, the Transport and Road Investment Association of Vietnam (VARSI) highly appreciates the proactive and resolute actions of the Ministry of Transport, particularly Minister Nguyen Van Thang.

“In recent times, the Ministry of Transport has shown determination and has worked closely with the Project Management Boards and contractors to overcome difficulties and obstacles. From organization of selection, bidding, tender evaluation, to material supply licenses, and construction supervision. It can be said that the work accomplished during this term is equivalent to that of many previous years. With this progress, the goal of completing 3,000 km of expressway within the next year can be fully realized,” commented Dr. Tran Chung, Chairman of VARSI.

Dr. Dang Huy Dong, President of the Institute of Planning and Development, an expert in the field of transportation, also speaks highly of the role of the Ministry of Transport in the current term. The completion of the North-South Expressway, the operation of many major transportation works, and the benefits for the people all demonstrate the effectiveness of these actions.

“To further capitalize on these achievements, the Ministry of Transport needs to conduct comprehensive monitoring and review the commitment of contractors, investors, and project management boards. For weak contractors who consistently delay and show no signs of progress, the Ministry of Transport should consider reassigning their tasks to more capable contractors. Additionally, there should be clear regulations prohibiting these contractors from working on other projects controlled by the Ministry of Transport for a certain period. Such stringent incentives and penalties would create a competitive environment and motivate the contractors,” suggested Dr. Dang Huy Dong.

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