Construction of the route and foundations for the Laos-China Railway has been achieved, and the laying of the tracks is over 20 per cent complete, according to a leading official with the megaproject.
Laos-China Railway Co Ltd director-general Xiao Qianwen updated Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on the progress of the 414.3km-project during a visit to inspect construction in Xay village, Xaythany district, Vientiane on Thursday.
From Vientiane to the Laos-China border in Luang Namtha province, “the running of the track foundation is 100 per cent finished”, he said, adding that placement of the steel tracks was 21.4 per cent completed.
Currently, 71 out of the 75 tunnels have been drilled, and 88 per cent of railway bridge construction has been completed. The installation of high voltage electricity poles is 57.4 per cent complete.
However, some stations have not yet started construction due to the severe impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, and several areas are still in the process of mediation with landholders.
According to a member at the National Assembly’s (NA’s) 8th legislature last month, there was still a steady stream of public comment regarding unsettled compensation in Oudomxay and Vientiane provinces.
Therefore, the NA recommended that relevant committees of both provinces continue working with those affected to come to a satisfactory resolution.
During Thongloun’s visit, he also emphasised that the company and related sectors mediate with the people living near the train stations in Vientiane and Thanalaeng 12.7km along the track to resolve problems.
The investment project between both governments will see passenger trains running at 160km/h from Vientiane to the Boten-Mohan border through the four provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha.
The 414.3km railway will feature 198km of tunnels and 62km of bridges, and when operational, the journey from Vientiane to the Boten border crossing in Luang Namtha province will be reduced from the present two days by road to less than three hours by train.
The railway is scheduled for completion at the end of next year.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK