Sluggish land clearance delays key border logistics hub project

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 23:49

A groundbreaking ceremony held last November. Despite much fanfare, the project's progress has been sluggish, three years after being approved by the provincial government. — Photo

Local authorities of Cao Loc Commune in northern border Lang Son Province have until July 15 to complete site clearance for the logistics hub for the 144-hectare Dong Dang - Lang Son Economic Zone Project, said vice chairman of the provincial People Committee Ho Tien Thieu in a meeting on Wednesday.

Authorities need to finish the relocation of an international internet cable line, electrical networks and burial grounds to clear the site so construction can begin, he said. The project has progressed slowly, largely because of a lack of funding to clear the site, according to local officials.

Thieu urged the project’s investor, Transport Lang Son JSC, to work with the commune’s local government to complete the remaining paperwork on reassigning land purposes. The provincial department of natural resources and environment was also told to provide support and guidance.

Investors were advised to consult with local authorities to make sure the project’s construction phase goes smoothly.

The provincial government insisted the project’s investors must complete and submit a detailed roadmap for the construction phase before June 15.

The 3.3 trillion (US$140 million) Dong Dang - Lang Son Economic Zone Project was approved by the provincial People Committee in March 2017. The transport hub, once completed, will provide facilities to store and preserve goods in accordance with international hygiene and logistics standards and be key to import/export activities.

Progress, however, has been sluggish with investors saying they experienced technical problems and had to reevaluate the project. Once earmarked for completion in the third quarter of this year, the project only began this April.

Le Thanh Trung, director-general of Transport Lang Son JSC, said his company faced difficulties in securing loans from banks due to unfinished land rights applications. There is also a matter of the Huu Nghi - Chi Lang Highway, which overlaps parts of the project, that must be ironed out.

Local officials claimed an area of 27 hectares has been cleared while asking the investor to come up with the required funding to clear the rest of the land allotted to the project. — VNS

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