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Ha Noi drains unfit to tackle heavy flooding

Update: May, 14/2015 - 08:00
Dien Bien Phu Road in Ha Noi's Ba Dinh District was submerged after a heavy downpour lasting for nearly an hour last summer. Ha Noi's sewers and drains are said to be inadequate to cope with heavy flooding. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi's sewers and drains are said to be inadequate to cope with heavy flooding, likely to arrive with the coming storm season.

Canals traditionally used to drain water from the growing city have been narrowed down by piles of plastic and other solid rubbish in recent years, severely limiting their capacity to drain water into the city's rivers.

The city's authorities plan to clear the canals this month, as well as lower water levels in main lakes to handle heavy rain.

Many city projects to improve water drainage are reported to be have been completed, but not yet connected to the city's network.

Several key projects, such as upgrading water-holding capacity at Dam Chuoi, Phuong Liet and Tan Mai lakes, have hit problems because they are blocked by old buildings sitting across low water drainage sites or else have encroached on public land.

The owners of these structures are refusing to be relocated or are holding out for compensation, said Pham Van Cuong, director of the Ha Noi Water Drainage Project.

The city's People Committee has also ordered districts and wards to provide their own solutions to prevent flooding, especially in areas known to be susceptible during heavy rains.

The city's sewerage authority, Ha Noi Sewerage and Drainage Ltd (HSDC), said flood preparation for the 12 central districts was underway.

However, for the rest of the city, co-ordination among local agencies would be the key to solving any flooding during the storm season.

Vo Tien Hung, director general of HSDC said during prolonged and heavy rains there might be up to 50 sites flooded in the city. Most of them were near the low-level Ha Noi Southern Bus Station in Hoang Mai District.

Hung said predicted flooding would occur on the city's ring roads, such as Pham Van Dong and Nguyen Xien, as their drainage systems had not been completed even though they were flooded every year.

To quickly respond to flooding, Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy chairman of the city's People Committee, has asked the city's construction department and sewerage authority to remain constantly vigilant with equipment and machines on stand-by at all times. — VNS

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