Bird flu epidemic and diseases in farm animals including blue-ear and foot-and-mouth in pigs and cattle have been put under control in most localities nationwide during the last two weeks.
The board of directors of Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the US$239 million lending for the construction of urban railway route in Hanoi.
The $1 billion project, which will set up a 12.5-kilometer urban railway route from Hanoi Railway Station to Nhon in Tu Liem District, is expected to be finished by 2015. Its capacity will be raised from 150,000 passengers in 2015 to 500,000 passengers by 2030.
The ADB-backed project is expected to ease traffic congestion in Hanoi where 9 out of 10 people use private vehicles as their primary means of transport, with the remainder relying primarily on buses.
As Vietnam's economy continues to grow, many of Hanoi's residents are switching from motorbikes to cars. This trend, coupled with the fact that the capital's population is expected to balloon from six to eight million people by 2025, threatens development and the environment, according to ADB.
"If Hanoi doesn't develop quality, high-volume public transportation systems the city will slowly grind to a standstill over the next decade," said Robert Valkovic, ADB's Principal Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia.
"The metro is essential to Hanoi's future,” he added.
The French Government and European Investment Bank also agreed to fund for this project. This is one of the four urban railway routes to be built in the Hanoi Urban Traffic Plan.
Early this year, ADB has already approved another loan to support one urban route in Ho Chi Minh City, raising the total funding for urban railway in Vietnam to $833 million.