VietNamNet Bridge – The first dormitory of the HCM City student housing project was completed on Thursday, after being behind schedule for several months.
Site clearance problems had been the major obstacle to the project's progress, according to Phan Thanh Binh, the director of HCM City National University.
The poor co-ordination among the four contractors, who are leaders in their field, has also contributed to the delay of the entire housing project, which had been been scheduled to be completed in September this year but will be moved up to the end of the year.
Under the initial schedule, the first dorm, the biggest one of the HCM City student housing project, should have been completed a few months ago.
The dorm, which will accommodate 800 students, is one of several dorms that will provide accommodation to 60,000 students at HCM City National University and others in the city's northeast area and in neighbouring Binh Duong Province.
An additional 40,000 rooms will also be built for university students in the HCM City area.
The HCM City housing project is the largest one in the Government's plan to provide housing nationwide to 200,000 students from 2009 to 2011.
For the national project, the Government has invested a total of VND8 trillion (US$420 million) raised from bonds.
The HCM City National University student accommodation project, which covers an area of 59ha, including Thu Duc District and part of Binh Duong's district of Di An.
The HCM City project is being built with a total investment of nearly VND3 trillion ($150 million).
In addition to poor management and coordination, the slow disbursement of funds for buildings created to serve students, including supermarkets, a hospital, cultural hall, theatre and bus station, had slowed construction progress.
Construction on buildings in Ha Noi that are also part of the country's national housing project has also fallen behind schedule because of difficulties with land clearance, the major cause of the delay.
Twelve out of 15 housing projects nationwide, all of which began in 2009, were completed last year.
Along with the HCM City National University buildings, two housing projects in Ha Noi's Phap Van and My Dinh districts are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The HCM City People's Committee Chairman, Le Hoang Quan, has ordered relevant agencies to review and speed up implementation of the student housing project.
He said he would assume responsibility for addressing any obstacles and would coordinate with concerned agencies and the Prime Minister.
Quan ordered contractors to finish at least 80 per cent of the work by September.
There are about 3 million students at about 700 universities, colleges and vocational schools nationwide. Existing dormitories meet only about 20 per cent of the need.
Once the national programme is finished, more than 1.27 million students will be provided on-campus housing.
The government plans to spend VND6 trillion ($300 million) for student accommodation each year during the 2011-15 period.
The national programme is intended to meet 60 per cent of the demand by 2015.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News