HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City plans to treat all wastewater discharge and solid and toxic waste from factories, hospitals and households by 2015.
Nguyen Van Phuoc, deputy director of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the city would implement 39 projects to reduce pollution in the 2001-15 period.
Of the projects, 13 would invest in infrastructure to treat solid waste.
The remaining 26 projects would focus on raising the public's awareness about environmental protection; improve State management; and create new regulations on environmental protection.
The projects will also aim to upgrade equipment to measure environmental quality and increase regional and international co-operation in environmental protection.
Of the infrastructure facilities, one project, a toxic-waste treatment plant with a capacity of 21 tonnes a day, was put into operation during the first quarter, Phuoc told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Three projects under construction, including a plant that produces compost fertiliser from rubbish and a hospital wastewater treatment project, will be completed by the year-end.
Four other projects under construction are two rubbish dumps and an environmental observation centre, both of which will be completed next year.
This year, the city will begin construction of five projects, including two plants that produce compost fertiliser from rubbish and a plant that produces construction materials from building-material waste.
Total construction capital of these 12 projects is estimated to be more than VND5 trillion (US$238 million).
Phuoc said the projects were being held up for several reasons, including the lack of land for waste treatment projects. Cooperation among local districts in land clearance and compensation had also been poor.
In addition, the weak capacity of some investors has contributed to slow implementation.
Phuoc said his department had asked the municipal's People's Committee to demand that district authorities enforce pollution violations, especially the disposal of rubbish into canals. — VNS