Minister fires Da Nang airport projet leader for undue delays

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The transport minster took the unusual step of dismissing the manager of an airport project in the central city of Da Nang at the construction site, after finding it was lagging far behind its deadline, the VnExpress newswire reported Thursday.

The report said that during an inspection at the site of the Da Nang International Airport's new terminal that day, Minister Dinh La Thang replaced Dang Hong Cuong with Do Tat Binh, deputy general director of Southern Airports Corporation.

The project was launched in December 2007 with a total investment capital of over VND1.34 trillion (US$64.6 million) raised through loans and state budget contributions. It was scheduled to start operations in the first quarter last year, but only 97 percent of the work had been completed thus far.

VnExpress quoted a project consultant on supervising works as saying that it was behind the deadline because the contractors, especially the main contractor, the Vietnam Investment Construction and Trading Joint-stock Corporation, kept violating their commitments.

They were also found failing to guarantee the terminal's safety in cases fire and explosions, among other things, it added.

A side project to upgrade a runway for the airport was also making slow progresses, as just 50 percent of the work has been finished so far, although it was set to be completed by the end of this year, according to the newswire.

While the contractors will be held responsible for project delays, the project's leaders also need to take responsibility for failing to give proper care and direction to the work, Thang said.

He asked contractors to speed up work so the project can be completed in three months, adding that they would be fined if they failed to do so.

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