» » » Le Van Tam underground car park project still inactive

VNREThe construction of an underground car park at Le Van Tam Park was still lying idle half a year since the ground-breaking ceremony and nearly two years since the project owner was awarded the license from the city government.

The HCMC-based Investment, Development for Underground Space Inc. (IUS) as the investor explained that the progress had grounded to a halt due to formalities relating to the issuance of a land-use certificate, exemption of land use fee as well as a change to the project’s technical planning.

Le Tuan, chairman of IUS, said on Wednesday that the company was still carrying out the technical planning for the car park, while related departments of the city are still appraising land use fee exemption, a prerequisite condition for IUS to get the land-use certificate and construction permit.

“The city’s Finance Department is still confused in considering exemption of land use fee for the project’s underground space,” he told the Daily.

In August 2010, IUS broke ground for the project with an aim to build an underground parking space able to accommodate 2,000 motorbikes, 1,250 cars and 28 buses and trucks. IUS also promised to spend some VND43 billion to recover the green space of the park after the construction of its car park project whose cost was estimated at some US$110 million.

On August 18 last year, Tuan told a press conference that he expected to obtain a construction permit in early 2011, and would start construction on the project soon after for completion within 36 months. The project was to be commissioned in 2013.

Previously, in 2009, IUS had also signed a Build-Operate-Transfer contract with the HCMC government to develop the project.

Le Tuan of IUS said the company has now nearly completed construction planning for the project.

“We expect to complete the construction planning within May this year, and we also hope to obtain the land-use certificate and construction permit within next month so that we can start construction soon,” he said.

However, that prospect holds numerous uncertainties as the investor is asking for more incentives and business conditions for the project.

IUS has just asked the city’s Department of Transport to allocate an extra 1,340 square meters of land in the park for the company to build more entrances for its underground car park.

In a recent statement sent to the department, IUS said it wanted to have more land to build more pathways linking its underground parking space to Dien Bien Phu and Vo Thi Sau streets. Tuan said this is an additional land area that was not mentioned in the BOT contract.

He said building six lanes for vehicle going into and out of the car park would help ensure safety for the vehicles which will drive on separate entrances into and out of the underground car park.

“The separate lanes for cars and motorbikes will also ensure the smooth circulation of 600 vehicles per hour at the car park,” Tuan explained to the Daily on Wednesday.

However, Bui Xuan Cuong, deputy director of the transport department, said in a response to IUS late last month that the investor’s suggestion for building six entrances and exits went against the initial design of the project approved by the Ministry of Construction in 2006.

Earlier, the construction ministry and related agencies of the city had allowed for IUS to build only four pathways to the underground car park.

Another official of the department told the Daily on Wednesday that said if the car park has many entrances and exits, the common landscape of the whole Le Van Tam Park will be spoiled.

According to the basic design of the project approved by the construction ministry in 2006, the project would have total construction area of some 5.9 hectares with 70% for accommodating vehicles and 30% for trading and public services.

Reported by Van Nam | The Saigon Times

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