Construction of the new Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism building kicked off on Thursday on the 450 Year Road in Vientiane, with the project expected to take two years to complete.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Vientiane Mayor Mr Soukanh Mahalath and Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara.
The ministry will move to the new five-storey building in 2015 from its present premises on Setthathirath Road.
The three Deputy Ministers of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, Mr Buangeun Xaphouvong and Mr Chaleune Warinthrasak, were also present at the ceremony, alongside other officials.
The construction of the new ministry building comes after an exchange deal with the Dao-Heuang Group, under which the company will develop the former Lao National Tourism Administration building on Lane Xang Avenue.
Under the agreement, the Dao-Heuang Group will build a new five-storey building for the ministry on a two-hectare site on the 450 Year Road, at an estimated cost of 100 billon kip.
The project was approved by the Politburo, Party Central Committee Secretariat, and the government. The decision was taken to build the new ministry because its present premises were built almost a century ago, so the building is very old and parts of it are damaged, Mr Buangeun said.
When the new building is complete in 2015, the Party and State has approved the transfer of the ministry’s present premises on Setthathirath Road to the Ministry of Education and Sports.
With roads in the capital suffering from particularly heavy congestion, including Lane Xang Avenue and Setthathirath, Kaysone Phomvihane, Nongbone, Asean, Samsenthai and the 150-bed Hospital roads, the relocation of government offices to the outlying 450 Year Road will help to ease congestion in the city centre.
The new ministry building will be located about two kilometres from the Dongdok traffic lights on Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue.
According to the Dao-Heuang Group, when they have finished the project, they will demolish the Tourism Administration building and construct a five or seven storey building to use as their offices. Earlier this month, the ministry gave permission for other local companies to construct the new National Library and National Museum in Sivilay village near the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum.
Recently, the ministry also gave permission for the TK Road and Bridge Construction Company to build twin three-storey buildings at a cost of more than US$2.7 million to house the offices of the Vientiane Times and Pasaxon newspapers on Kamphaengmeuang Road in Phonpapao village, Sisattanak district.
Construction of the newspapers’ new offices began on March 25, with the project estimated to take at least two years to complete.
Under the agreement, the new offices are part of an exchange deal where the construction company will be allowed to develop the newspapers’ current premises on Pangkham Road in central Vientiane.
By Vientiane Times