Ninh Thuan’s weather is fickle, sudden rain and sunshine. Sometimes, the burning sunny sky suddenly darkened, dark clouds came, the rain poured down, and then it stopped as quickly as it came. But no matter what the weather, thousands of engineers and workers on Cam Lam – Vinh Hao expressway still have to overcome it to execute with a sense of urgency so that the work can be completed on schedule.
On the construction site of Cam Lam – Vinh Hao
In the morning, when the sun had not yet heated up the ground, Mr. Phan Van Tien (from Phu Yen) and other workers left the housing area to go to the construction site to start the shift. Mr. Tien is a driver of Deo Ca Group, has followed this project since it just started. Currently, he is operating excavator for the XL09 package, which is located in the southern half of Nui Vung tunnel. This is the longest mountain tunnel of the North-South Expressway phase 1 with a length of 2.2km.
Along the way to the construction site, the most common plant encountered in this rocky land is pear cactus. The thorny, resilient plant lives on barrenness but still diligently saves every drop of resin and gives life red berries. Like that tree, the people who are working here must also be very resilient to the climate of “sunshine like roasting, wind like thunder”. Mr. Tien shared: “About the weather in Ninh Thuan, everyone know how it’s severe. We were used to the characteristic of road worker is hard and miserable. The feeling of contributing to creating a road for people to travel conveniently is also a joy that makes us overcome hardships”.
At 9 o’clock, the sun was like midday, the sky was blue, not a cloud in the sky, the dry wind brought dust against people’s faces. Dust-proof watering tanks from a nearby stream ran back and forth, but seemed impervious to this weather. However, in the sun, wind, and dust, workers are engrossed in the bustling sound of bulldozers. There is a feeling that people do not care about the disturbances of the difficult nature, because in everyone has determined for themselves a will to cope, like the cactus that grows on that rock.
The sun stood still, the shift was over, the sweaty backs were calling each other to have lunch and rest, the laughter was still bustling all the way back to the operating house. Different from the imagination of hot, temporary corrugated iron construction camps, DCG’s executive building is spacious and fully equipped. Not far from the tunnel door area, in addition to the office area, the operator cluster also has a cool and clean kitchen, comfortable workers housing withthe air conditioners are running.
Returning to the worker’s housing, while wiping his sweat, Mr. Tien said: “The kitchen is arranged to cook 3 meals a day, so we are quite assured about eating. Rest in air-conditioned rooms so we do not worry about the heat”.
When asked about the working regime at Deo Ca, Mr. Tien smiled: “Deo Ca is “good”. Before, I worked for small companies, they often indebted to salary, very precarious. In Deo Ca, every month, the salary is transferred to our bank account, the job is stable, I feel more secure to work. Reading the newspaper, the government also believes in Deo Ca very much, hopefully the company will continue to receive many projects to have stable jobs for us. As a employees, we just hope that”.
Workers driving machines at construction site
Working in Cam Lam – Vinh Hao, many machine drivers have been worked for Deo Ca in 3 projects. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tam has been work for Deo Ca since 2018, experiencing Hai Van project in Hue – Da Nang, going to Trung Luong – My Thuan in Tien Giang and now Cam Lam – Vinh Hao in Ninh Thuan.
“Working for money is equally hard everywhere, but in Deo Ca, the job is stable and the benefits are good, so I’m ready to follow the company from one project to another, work until I can’t do it anymore”, Mr. Tam laughed.
Mr. Ho Dinh Chung, General Director of Deo Ca Group, said that transport infrastructure projects often go through remote places, far from big cities, making travel difficult, so it is difficult to attract and retain workers. At Cam Lam – Vinh Hao too. Previously, the executive board office was a “3 no” place with no roads, no electricity, no water, no internet. The Group built housing for staff and employees and office for the executive board before embarking on project construction. Open roads, connect electricity, find domestic water sources, connect to the internet… and then buy the most comfortable facilities.
“We always try to build the most spacious and comfortable infrastructure, accommodation and living space and take care of the lives of employees, not only for our brothers but also for their families to rest assured about working conditions,” said Mr. Chung.
In addition to working hours, life at the construction site also brings joy and memorable memories to people far from home. When the twilight dyed a corner of the Bieu river dam, engineers and workers went to the dam to catch fish to grill. Under the flickering light of the fire, in the gentle afternoon wind, the laughter filled the dam bank.
A corner of Bieu river dam
Night fell on the inter-office area, and groups of night shift workers rushed to the construction site. In the distance came the sound of the rock grinding machine. On the benches in the executive board, the light from the phone screens illuminates the bright smiles of the father, husband, and son when calling home. The father’s smile was bright, the baby’s babbling and giggling sounded in the phone.
Notes by Nguyen Nga