Central Highlands provinces work to upgrade transport infrastructure

Over recent decades, local authorities in the Central Highlands region have mobilised assorted resources to upgrade and complete their transport infrastructure, holding that the transport network plays a crucial role in spurring socio-economic development and maintaining security and defence.

An aerial view of the Lien Khuong – Da Lat Expressway
An aerial view of the Lien Khuong – Da Lat Expressway

Accordingly, in the period 2015-2020, Lam Dong province allocated more than 5.3 trillion VND for its traffic infrastructure, not including projects managed by the Ministry of Transport. To date, the province has a combined length of roads of nearly 9,300 km, including 19 km of highways, 507 km of national highways, 663 km of provincial roads and 651 km of urban roads.

In Gia Lai province, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Transport Doan Huu Dung reported that the road network in the locality stretches about 12,000 km, including six national highways with a total length of 372 km. The Pleiku airport capacity has reached 600,000 passengers per year with four airlines operating.

Meanwhile, Dak Lak province boasts a transport network of nearly 15,400 km plus seven national expressways stretching over 760 km and connecting Dak Lak with other provinces in the region, Ho Chi Minh city and coastal central localities. The province is also home to Buon Ma Thuot airport, which has an annual capacity of two million passengers.

With nearly 6,150 km of roads, Kon Tum province has gained encouraging results in developing its transport network over recent years as it has established 65 inter-provincial routes, five inner-provincial routes, and five routes linking the province with Lao localities.

Though Dak Nong is the south-western gateway of the Central Highlands, the transport infrastructure has not yet met the needs of the province and the region as it has only one mode of road transportation with a total length of approximately 4,680km.

Despite the remarkable progresses in the past decade, Central Highlands provinces still face difficulties in completing their transport infrastructure. Many national highways have degraded and there is a lack of expressways linking the region with seaports and major centres.

In addition, there are no railways in this region yet, waterway transport has not yet fully developed, and no inland container depot (ICD) has been opened. This is not to mention that airports in the region are operating on a small-scale with only domestic routes and low operating capacity.

Central Highlands provinces work to upgrade transport infrastructure  ảnh 1

Buon Ma Thuot Airport in Dak Lak province has a capacity of 2 million passengers per year.

Being aware of the shortcomings, the five Central Highlands provinces have been drastically implementing action programmes in a bid to upgrade their transport system and improve modes of transportation.

Of which, Dak Lak province prioritises upgrading its existing road system and implementing a number of key transport projects to boost regional linkage. The province strives to have nearly 16,000 km of roads by 2025 and nearly 20,000km by 2030.

Nguyen Dinh Trung, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee said that Dak Lak province has coordinated with other provinces in the region to propose the Government build a strategic route linking the Central Highlands with localities in the central region and those in the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area.

Besides the expressway project, the province is also working to upgrade Buon Ma Thuot airport to an international airport.

Lam Dong province is working on major transport projects expected to spur socio-economic development in the region. Prominent among them is the 201-km Dau Giay – Lien Khuong Expressway, which will run from southern Dong Nai Province to Lam Dong Province.

The project, designed to link the south-eastern region with the Central Highlands and ease traffic on National Highway No 20, is part of Vietnam’s master plan for its expressway network to 2030.

Recently, Dak Nong province in coordination with Binh Phuoc province proposed investment in the Dak Nong – Binh Phuoc Expressway project under the PPP format.

Running 110 kilometres in Dak Nong Province and 102 kilometres in Binh Phuoc Province, the expressway will link with the Ho Chi Minh Highway.

Once open to traffic, the expressway will shorten the time to transport goods from Dak Nong to Long Thanh airport in Dong Nai province.

Leaders of the Central Highlands provinces consider the transport infrastructure as a driving force for socio-economic development. The transport sector of the localities has worked closely with functional sectors to mobilise all available resources both at home and abroad to build a synchronised and modern transport system.