Vietnam's longest boulevard a long way from finished

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Government inspectors have suggested that Hanoi authorities and officials at several government ministers should be held responsible for allowing a massive road to turn into a lamentable boondoggle.


A recent audit of the nearly 30 kilometer Thang Long Boulevard project, one of the works designed to celebrate the capital's millennium anniversary in October, has condemned incorrect estimates, bad design work, and sub-par construction.


The project has not only become financially wasteful, inspectors said, it is absurdly overdue.


In fact Vietnam's longest boulevard, is only 70 percent complete, although work was supposed to end five years ago, Vnmedia reported.


The government raised capital for the project by promising investors land along the roadway.


But, while the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance have yet to finalize their compensation of investor Vinaconex Corporation, authorities of Ha Tay Province (now part of Hanoi) distributed 747 hectares of land along the road to businesses which hadn't invested anything in the project, the news source said.


This act directly violated the Prime Minister's order, causing a huge funding shorfall and delaying the project's completion, the news website quoted inspectors as saying.


The project was approved in July of 2003, according to Tuoi Tre. More than VND3.7 trillion (US$189.79 million) was initially put up for the construction of the roadway. That number ballooned to over VND7.5 trillion ($384.71 million) in October 2007.


The Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Finance, the Hanoi People's Committee and Vinaconex needs to be scrutinized for the violations, government inspectors said.

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