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Economy

Hanoi's planned metro, already 2 years late, hit with new delays

Safety checks screech to halt as Chinese builder fails to submit paperwork

A worker walks the tracks of Hanoi's planned metro system in 2015. Construction has mostly finished, but safety checks face delays.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Vietnam's first metro system under construction in Hanoi faces yet another obstacle, leaving residents waiting more than two years after the trains were expected to go into service.

The Chinese company responsible for the project has not submitted the documents needed for a final safety check on a 13 km section between the Cat Linh and Ha Dong stations, local media report.

Vietnam's State Audit Office also has uncovered unapproved spending in relation to the project, adding to the confusion.

Construction of the Hanoi metro began in 2011 with the cooperation of China's government. Operations initially were slated to start in September 2017. But the project has been plagued by various delays. Vietnam's Transport Ministry most recently had said the system would go online in April 2019.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and other Vietnamese officials inspected the site on Tuesday, where they said that commercial operations would start within the year.

The Vietnamese government is in talks with the Chinese Embassy in order to move the project forward. But the two sides are believed to be at odds, and a quick resolution appears unlikely.

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