HCM CITY (VNS) — To complete all necessary works to combat floods in the next five years, HCM City needs VND51.3 trillion (US$2.35 billion), heard a meeting held on Tuesday to discuss plans for flood control chaired by a deputy chairman of the city People's Committee.
The works include a rainwater drainage system, tide-control system and wastewater treatment facilities, according to the HCM City Flood Combating Centre.
To protect 55,450ha of inner districts from flooding, the city needs eight tide-control culverts, 68 sewers and hundreds of kilometres of embankment along the Sai Gon River and the extensive network of canals.
Construction of these structures is expected to be completed by 2018.
Others such as the drainage system and pumping stations will be built subsequently.
Funds for building and upgrading drainage systems is expected to come from the Government's coffers, the four waste water treatment plants will be funded by from PPPs (public-private partnership), and the remaining projects will raise loans.
The centre has called on the Government to approve the works so that they can get underway, provide funds for them, and instruct related ministries and agencies to dispatch experts to help HCM City oversee the works.
Vice Chairman of HCM City People's Committee Nguyen Huu Tin told the centre to finalise the anti-flooding project, especially the plans to repay loans taken for it.
The city's Electronicity Corporation and the municipal Transport Department are making preparations for the upcoming rainy season to prevent power shortages during storms, squalls and whirlwinds.
"Before the rainy season, our electricity enterprises worked with park and tree companies to cut down all weak trees, and make sure the electricity grid is safe," Pham Quoc Bao, deputy general director of the HCM City Electricity Corporation, was quoted as saying in the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
"We have outlined a plan to cope with all incidents in the rainy season, and to ensure that power is restored shortly after incidents," he said.
Last year, the municipal Transport Department cut weak branches of 436 trees and replanted 450 others. Since early this year, more than 335 trees have been trimmed.
"After the serious whirlwind in Ha Noi late last week, which killed two and injured seven people, and damaged 1,300 trees, we checked our grid again," Nguyen Huu Vinh, deputy director of the Sai Gon Electricity Company, said.
He also said that construction companies had been told to ensure electricity grid safety on building sites.
Electricity companies met on Tuesday with park and tree companies to devise a plan to cope with incidents caused by bad weather.
"We have agreed to double the number of staff to prepare for incidents that occur from afternoon to midnight, because this is the peak time for whirlwinds," Vinh said.
Equipment and machinery including forklift trucks and excavators have also been set aside for emergencies.
In a related matter, the Bao Viet Insurance Corporation will offer a total of VND3.6 billion (US$165,000) to customers who suffered losses from the whirlwind that occurred in Ha Noi on June 13. — VNS