VietNamNet Bridge – Experts of the Vietnam Construction Association said that underground space is a valuable natural resource that needs to be explored to become “the second space of modern cities.”
They also suggested setting up an agency to control this natural resource at a seminar early this week.
They said that underground reticulation, parking areas and subways play a key role in the development of Vietnam’s cities but lack of planning, legal regulations and finance is making them inefficient.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said putting such projects underground saves having to use valuable land.
HCM City's socio-economic plan over the next year included 60km of subways and underground parking lots in the parks of Le Van Tam and Tao Dan, and Hoa Lu stadium, and to reroute electricity telecommunication cable underground.
Da Nang City intended to build a 2.5ha underground parking lot and other underground traffic systems.
Hanoi has a system of underground railways and tunnels in the early stages of construction.
However, experts agreed the lack of a development plan of underground projects, legal management regulations and finance had caused shortcomings.
Dong said there was no database on underground projects, so consequently there was overlapping and inefficiencies.
He said electricity, water, telecommunications and construction companies were all making separate plans and underground parking lots were being designed for individual private projects, not public ones.
Nguyen Hong Tien, head of the Ministry of Transport's Infrastructure Department, said construction of many underground urban railways in HCM City and the capital had failed to meet their deadlines while others that had been completed had started cracking and developing holes.
Tran Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Ministry of Transport's Infrastructure Department said legal criteria as well as a management agency on underground projects had yet to be formed.
Nguyen Hoang Giang of the Foundation Engineering & Underground Construction JS Company said it was necessary to research potential risks in building subways and underground parking lots to provide suitable solutions.
Collapse of surface and underground structures were the two biggest risks, he said.
Luu Duc Hai, head of the Ministry of Transport's Urban Development Department said underground traffic systems affected the development of other underground projects so planning was needed.
This was not to mention the large amount of investment poured into these projects which required the Government to draft out a detailed itinerary of construction and development of underground projects, Hai said.
The Government also should encourage scientists to work with foreign experts to apply modern technologies to the projects, he said.
It was necessary for the Government and relevant agencies to form favorable mechanisms to attract investors to develop underground projects, such as free space for underground use.
Vuong Hoang Thanh, deputy head of HCM City Management Board of Urban Traffic Project Construction, said his board would be responsible for setting up a data base of underground space, putting forward guidelines of use of the space, and licensing underground projects.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Thanh Nghi said the ministry has been drafting legal management regulations on underground projects and publishing favorable mechanisms for the construction of underground projects.
The Vietnam Construction Association’s Deputy Chairman Pham Sy Liem said the country's urban population would double by 2025, so more than 300,000ha agriculture land would be needed for urban development.