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Vietnam’s first metro route opens



The route will help increase the number of public transport users and ease traffic congestion.

Vietnam’s first metro route opens

Leaders of the Ministry of Transport and Hanoi sign the minute to hand over Cat Linh – Ha Dong railway project to the municipal authorities. Photo: Quy Nguyen

Vietnam’s first metro line, the Cat Linh – Ha Dong, in the capital city of Hanoi, officially began commercial operation on November 6 morning.

Speaking at the ceremony of handing over, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Duong Duc Tuan said that the metro line would help increase the number of public transport users, and together with the nine other lines planned, form a key transport network to help ease traffic congestion.

The project is expected to be a game changer for public transportation in a crowded city with millions of personal vehicles, Tuan said, adding that it would help the city’s mass transit network meet up to 45% of demand.

The metro line is connected with 55 public bus routes since last year and the number will rise to 59 in the future, the vice chairman noted.

On November 6 morning, the first train left Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District at 7:40 am for Yen Nghia Station in south-western District of Ha Dong. A full trip on the 13-kilometer elevated track will take 23 minutes after stopping at all 12 stations.

Vietnam’s first metro route opens

It has an elevated line of more than 13 km with 12 stations and a rolling stock of 13 trains. Each train, whose designed speed is 80 km/h, has four carriages capable of carrying over 900 passengers.

During the trial run of the line, part of a metro line system that will comprise underground sections upon completion, was completed in December 2020, the trains made 5,740 trips covering more than 70,000 kilometers.

After being free for the first 15 days, a trip will cost VND8,000-15,000 (US$0.35-0.66) for a ticket. Commuters can enjoy unlimited rides in a single day if they purchase a day pass or monthly pass.

In the first week, the service will be from 5:30 am to 8:00 pm every day with a frequency of 15 minutes which will be increased from the second week with interval between trains of 10 minutes.

After six months, the service will be extended to 10:30 pm., and there will be a train every six minutes during rush hour.

Works on the railway, built by China Railway Sixth Group, began in October 2011 and was initially scheduled for completion in 2013. However, several hurdles have stalled it for years.

Its cost increased by 57% from the original estimate to VND18 trillion (US$868 million), with 77% of it coming from official development assistance loans from China.

In January 2021, the French consultant ACT issued a test certificate along with the report, which includes 16 recommendations on risk prevention in the operation of the route, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The French consultant’s recommendations that have been met so far this year, include certification from the Firefighting Police Agency and the consultant’s step-2 safety assessment of the signal system.

The State Council for Acceptance of Construction Projects on October 29 approved the quality assessment results of the metro line, the final step for the project to begin commercial operation.

Hanoi Railway Limited Company, the operator of the project, has met all operational recommendations of the system safety assessment consultant and hired another 82 workers to increase the line’s personnel to 733 workers, according to Vu Hong Truong, the company’s director.

“The Ministry of Transport has worked with Hanoi authorities on meeting the recommendations and the measures to evacuate passengers in emergency situations. For future super-big projects, we must have a roadmap for both investment preparation and human resource training before implementation,” Truong told The Hanoi Times.

Source: hanoitimes



Woman arrested after being wanted for 16 years in Vietnam



Police in Vietnam have arrested a woman who had been at large for nearly 16 years after being convicted of a drug-related crime.

The Department of Public Security in southern Kien Giang Province confirmed on Sunday it had apprehended Le Thi Kim Tu, 41.

Police investigation showed that Tu and her husband were caught red-handed selling drugs in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2001.

The couple lived with their child in Hoc Mon District at the time.

In mid-2002, Tu was sentenced to seven years in prison while her husband got six years for illegally trading narcotics.

The woman was allowed to postpone her jail term as she needed to take care of her child, who was under 36 months old.

She was thus taken to Kien Giang Province so that authorities could supervise her during this period.

When Tu was ready to serve her prison sentence in 2005, officers found that she had run away from her place of residence.

The woman had been wanted by Kien Giang police since then.

Over the past 16 years, Tu had been living in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang after changing her name.

She had a romantic relationship with a local man and eventually lived with him and his family.

Following a recent argument, Tu attempted to attack her boyfriend’s mother with a knife.

Local police intervened in the incident and summoned Tu to their station for a working session.

Officers in Tien Giang eventually discovered Tu’s true identity and reported the case to their counterparts in Kien Giang Province.

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HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm



The People’s Committee of HCMC has approved a decision to extend a pilot program allowing food and drink facilities to operate until 10 p.m.

HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm

The decision that has not required eateries to close before 10 p.m. will take effect from now until December 31.

Accordingly, businesses are allowed to operate in districts with the Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2, resume on-site dining at 50 percent of their normal customer capacity in areas at the Covid-19 alert level 3 and move to mobile ordering and takeaway in the areas under the level 4.

The municipal government has also delegated chairpersons of the People’s Committees of Thu Duc City and districts to strengthen the inspection of food and beverage businesses serving alcoholic drinks and impose strict fines on violators

The city has seen the reopening of 9,796 food and drink services in Thu Duc City and districts, and 3,732 others selling alcoholic drinks from November 16-30, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

The experimental program allowing dining venues to operate until 10 pm daily has made outstanding contribution in stimulating consumption demand, production activities and trading; increasing State budget; creating jobs; and relieving the pressure on people, said the department.

However, many businesses have not ensured a safe distance of two meters between tables and registered for QR code yet. They have not got organizational business planning and publicized their maximum approved seating capacity. Some localities have not strictly carried out the inspection of food and beverage establishments’ activities.

On November 16, the HCMC People’s Committee previously launched a decision No.3818 on allowing food and drink facilities to resume on-site dining until 10 pm daily. The decision took effect until November 30.

Source: SGGP


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Vietnam transport ministry floats quarantine regulation relaxation to restore int’l flights



Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has mooted that the central government ease quarantine regulations and expedite recognition of ‘vaccine passports’ to prepare for resuming international flights.

The transport ministry submitted to the Government Office a document on solutions for restoring international flights, which was based on the suggestions of local airlines.

The government should request the Ministry of Health to consider the maximum relaxation of quarantine regulations for international arrivals, it said, adding that the country should gradually remove quarantine regulations for these passengers.

The government should task the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with speeding up the negotiations with countries and territories regarding the mutual recognition of ‘vaccine passports.’

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry of Information and Communications need to work together to establish a specialized app that allows flight passengers to file health declarations, which will assist in the control and tracing of international arrivals.

On November 30, the Ministry of Transport convened a working session with representatives of Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, and Airports Corporation of Vietnam to discuss the difficulties and solutions regarding the restoration of regular international air routes.

At the gathering, all airlines and airport operators agreed that international flights between Vietnam and other countries should be resumed.

To ensure feasibility, local airlines suggested the removal of quarantine regulations for passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease if they test negative for the novel coronavirus 72 hours prior to their flights.

Airport operators stated that they are ready to welcome back international travelers as all of their employees have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, while the airdromes are equipped with necessary facilities and equipment for pandemic prevention and control.

Representatives of relevant ministries and sectors expressed their support for the proposal, stating that the resumption of international flights will meet the travel demands of residents and promote the recovery of international tourism and the whole economy in general.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. 

Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, highly-skilled workers, and students have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements in place.

Vietnam has documented 1,309,092 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck it early last year, with 1,006,460 recoveries and 26,260 deaths.

More than 73 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one dose while over 54 million are now fully immunized.

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