Illegal earthworks clog HCM City canals
HCM CITY (VNS)— Illegal encroachment and occupation of river and canal sections in HCM City have blocked their flow and polluted their waters, according to the HCM City Urban Drainage Co Ltd.
|Uncontrolled solid waste floods Tan Hoa-Lo Gom canal in Tan Phu District, HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
It said that over the past three years, at least 41 sites along the city's waterways have been illegally filled in and built on.
Under water transport safety regulations, areas 50 metres from the banks of canals are to be reserved for parks, dykes, embankments and other flood-management works. No other construction work is allowed.
However, many residents have violated these regulations, illegally occupying sections of rivers and canals, affecting their flows and worsening pollution by discharging waste directly into their waters.
A stretch of Ba Buom 2 Canal which is more than 100m long in District 7 has been illegally filled in and occupied. It has narrowed the width and depth of the canal and made it difficult for boats to pass this section.
A culvert into Ba Buom Canal in Phu Thuan Ward has been destroyed, leading to the flooding of parts of Phu Thuan Ward on rainy days.
More than 400 houses have been built on the banks of the Doi Canal in District 8's Ward 4, many of them encroaching into the canal, making it difficult and even dangerous for boats to pass.
Many stretches of the Ba Tieng Canal in Binh Tan District's Binh Tri Dong B Ward have been filled in for house construction.
These houses block the flows of the canal, and whenever it rains, the Ho Hoc Lam Street, which runs alongside the canal, is heavily flooded.
HCM City authorities, well aware of the threats caused by local residents' ocuppying and building houses on canals, have taken several measures to prevent the situation from worsening.
Sites affected by illegal encroachment of waterways
District 7: Song Tan, Cay Me, Ban Don, Ben Ngua, Ong Doi 1, Ba Buom 2 and 3 canals
Go Vap District: Truong Dai, Cau Cut, Chin Xien, Ong Cu, Ba Ty, Ba Mien and Ben Boi canals
Binh Thanh District: Rach Lang, Cau Bong and Van Thanh canals
Thu Duc District: Cong Hoa, Rach Dia and Cau Trang canals
Binh Chanh District: Binh Loc and Phu Loc canals
They have invested large sums from State coffers to clear houses and slums along the rivers and canals in the city. However, the number of violations of regulations on waterway transportation has been on the rise.
An instruction issued by the HCM City People's Committee in September 2010 states that the city's departments of Construction and Mineral Resources and Environment as well as district authorities are not allowed to grant construction permits or issue land-use right certificates for houses illegally built on the banks of canals and rivers.
It says that all the illegal construction works must be destroyed and removed.
The municipal administration has also said that the chairpersons of districts will be held responsible for such violations.
However, the filling up of canals and construction works on river and canal banks in the city continues taking place, indicating weak enforcement of regulations. — VNS