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Residents, water supply firm trade accusations

Update: January, 22/2015 - 10:29
Some households have to spend VND100,000 (US$5) per cubic metre of clean water or use unclean water from bore wells. — Photo anninhthudo

HA NOI (VNS) — Residents and the local water supply company are blaming each other for not having potable water for daily use five years after the former settled in the Tu Hiep-Ngu Hiep Area.

Pham Quoc Khanh, a representative for the residents, said they were having to buy clean water from private suppliers or use unclean underground water for their daily needs.

He said that households that settled in the area in 2010 have had no clean water supply until now, only a few managed to receive electricity connections last year.

Khanh said that 40 households in the area have sent several complaints to the Thanh Tri District People's Committee, Ha Noi Water Company and Thanh Tri District Project Management Board, but no solution has been found to date.

The Thanh Tri Project Management Board had sent a team to the area last May to check the water system, but there was no follow-up action, he said.

Khanh also claimed that the Thanh Tri Police Bureau and a temporary market were getting clean water, while the residential area located between them got nothing.

Some households have to spend VND100,000 (US$5) per cubic metre of clean water or use unclean water from bore wells, he said.

He blamed a nearby cemetery and a temporary market for polluting the underground water source that residents are forced to rely on.

For his part, Nguyen Tien Cuong, Director of the Thanh Tri Project Management Unit, said that his unit had carried out checks to make sure the entire water system was working and then handed it over to the Ha Noi Water Company.

He added that the Hoang Mai Water Enterprise had already connected the local water system with the main water pipeline located under the Highway 1A stretch at Ngoc Hoi Road.

However, once the Hoang Mai Water Enterprise, a subcontractor for the Ha Noi Water Company, took over, they discovered pipes that had been deliberately broken. This was done by the residents, Cuong claimed.

He also said that the water system was checked in March 2013 and broken pipes found then too. He said 65 per cent of the water was being stolen out of the system, which was well over the eight per cent limit of acceptable loss. This prompted the company to cut off water supply.

Despite the conflicting narratives, Cuong promised that the Ha Noi Water Company and Hoang Mai Water Enterprise would finish checking the water system and develop a plan within the month to supply clean water.

Viet Nam News has tried to reach the Ha Noi Water Company and Hoang Mai Water Enterprise for more information about the problem, but have so far received no reply. — VNS

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