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Canal upgrade damages houses, residents demand compensation

Update: June, 15/2015 - 19:43
According to reports, ever since two buildings here collapsed after the repair of the canal, residents here fear that their houses may also collapse any moment. — Photo sggp

HCM CITY (VNS) — More than 1,000 residents of 300 households in District 6, HCM City, are living in fear, following the upgrade of the Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal.

Construction work to upgrade the canal, which used to be one of the most polluted canals in the city, started over three years ago with HCM City Urban Construction Investment Company as the project's main contractor.

According to reports, ever since two buildings here collapsed after the repair of the canal, residents here fear that their houses may also collapse any moment.

The use of heavy machines and prolonged construction work severely damaged numerous houses in the area; houses quaked as heavy machines were put to work on the canal.

"There were cracks everywhere in my house, so my family had to rent a place to live in, which is proving to be expensive. We just want them to fix our house so we can move back," said Tran Ba Tai, a resident from Ward 11 in District 6.

He added that since March, the management unit of the project has been making empty promises to look at his house, but nothing has been done so far to help him and his family.

The project, which was carried out on an investment of VND5 trillion (US$231.4 million), officially concluded in April and construction companies hired to work on the project have long left the site. However, the procedure to pay compensation for damage caused to houses here appeared to be progressing slowly.

The Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal. — Photo phunuonline

A few families who have met the project's management unit to discuss their compensation are not satisfied with the offer, which was reportedly set from VND2.3 million ($106) to VND10 million ($463).

"The walls in my house are about to crash. It's not safe to live there. I wanted them to rebuild it," said Phan Thi Tong, another resident from Ward 11.

A representative of the main contractor company said they are working together with the local authority to provide 60 of the affected households with compensation money this month, 75 more in the third quarter, and the remaining ones by the end of the year.

"Not all affected households are qualified for compensation to fully rebuild their houses. We are also doing our best to fix cracks and other problems caused by the canal's construction," Tran Trung Hau, deputy director of HCM City Urban Construction Investment Company, pointed out.

He added that households that had to relocate temporarily will receive financial aids from the project's contractors.

The District 6 People's Committee did not provide any answer as to why they haven't taken any measure to help project-affected residents. Local residents have also reported that they have not received any support from the district's People's Committee. — VNS

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