Monday , June 24 2024

Incomplete roadworks stop farmers from accessing their fields


Hundreds of families in the central Binh Thuan Province are unable to drive vehicles to their fields due to incomplete infrastructure works nearby.

For about two weeks, families in Ma Lam Town, Ham Thuan Bac District cannot drive vehicles through fields near Ham Phu Commune due to barricades of the Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet expressway, which spans over 100 km within Binh Thuan Province.

There are supposed to be roads and tunnels near the expressway for everyday transport, but the infrastructure has not been completed yet. The surrounding areas therefore have uneven terrain and are flooded.

Unfinished work at a tunnel under the Dau Giay - Phan Thiet - Vinh Hao expressway leaves the area flooded after rain, May 26, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

Unfinished work at a tunnel under the Dau Giay – Phan Thiet – Vinh Hao expressway leaves the area flooded after rain, May 26, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

People have to park their vehicles at nearby gardens, and walk through the area instead. But when it rains and the water rises, sometimes by up to 1.5 m, even simply walking can be dangerous.

“We know it would be dangerous, but our fields on the other side are unattended,” said Pham Quang Thanh, 57 as he left his motorbike and waddled through the water-filled tunnel to get to his fields.

The situation also occurs in districts from Tuy Phong to Ham Thuan Nam where the Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet expressway, which opened to traffic last month, runs through. Several people also have trouble gaining due to dozens of overpasses and roads along the highway remaining incomplete.

A man in Binh Thuan Province in central Vietnam waddles through a flooded tunnel of the Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet expressway, May 26, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

A man in Binh Thuan Province in central Vietnam waddles through a flooded tunnel of the Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet expressway, May 26, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

Over 50 km to the south, people in Ham Thuan Nam and Ham Tan districts have been complaining about how roads and overpasses remain incomplete, despite the expressway being operational for over a month.

Le Duy Cuong, a farmer in Ham Thuan Nam’s Ham Cuong Commune, said he has two hectares of dragon fruits on the other side of the expressway. Normally, it is only 2 km to get to the fields, but ever since the expressway went into operation, he has had to take a 10-km path along National Highway 1 as the overpasses are unfinished.

“During the rainy seasons, if construction is not finished, the paths along the expressway will get muddy, making it difficult to traverse them. When it’s time to harvest the dragon fruit, it will be difficult to get the merchants in,” he said.

About 15 km away, people in Tan Lap Commune have reported to authorities that they find it very difficult to get around and transport agricultural products. Two tunnels running through the commune are frequently flooded when it rains, while two overpasses remain incomplete, among other unfinished infrastructure.

An overpass across the Dau Giay - Phan Thiet - Vinh Hao Expressway in Binh Thuan Province is unfinished, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

An overpass across the Dau Giay – Phan Thiet – Vinh Hao Expressway in Binh Thuan Province is unfinished, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

Nguyen Loc, chairman of the Tan Lap Commune People’s Committee, said the roads and overpasses being incomplete had upset many people. Local authorities have requested the expressway project’s management board to instruct contractors to hasten the construction, he added.

Dang Hung Thai, a manager of the expressway project, said the board has received several complaints. Contractors are still focusing on completing the infrastructure, he added.

“Construction of overpasses and roads is now 60% completed, and they are expected to be finished at the end of June,” he said.

Pham Quoc Huy, another manager of the project, also said contractors were hastening construction, aiming to complete the roads and overpasses before June 30.

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