|Water source is polluted in HCM City. At least 95 per cent of underground fresh water in the city does not meet with the Ministry of Health's hygienic standards, while nearly 20 per cent or 358,000 households have no fresh water to use. — Photo baodatviet.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— At least 95 per cent of underground fresh water in HCM City does not meet with the Ministry of Health's hygienic standards, while nearly 20 per cent or 358,000 households have no fresh water to use, delegates heard a meeting of the municipal People's Council held on Monday.
"Last year, the city's People's Council released a resolution to provide fresh water for 100 per cent of households this year, but it has been difficult to reach the target," the chairwoman of the council, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, was quoted as saying in the Voice of HCM City Broadcast.
To provide fresh water for the remaining households, a 1,228 km pipeline system must be either upgraded or newly built, authorities said. The system includes a total of 2.2 million cu.m, 28 water supply stations, and 1,500 tanks and water treatment systems for more than 130,000 households. The total cost is estimated at VND2.2 trillion (US$100 million).
"If the State budget has not provided enough capital, bank loans will be mobilized and the State will pay the interest rate," Dao Thi Huong Lan, director of the city's Finance Department, said.
The department also said the target of providing fresh water for 100 per cent of households would only be reached by 2019, with total capital of VND9 trillion ($410 million), by building more water supply plants. The plants would supply 850,000 cu.m of water per day.
Outlying districts including Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi and Can Gio have a high number of households which do not have access to fresh water.
For example, Hoc Mon district has 85,000 households, but 75,000 have no fresh water. This year, 20 projects are being implemented, and fresh water will be supplied for 16,000 households.
In Cu Chi District, only 3 per cent of residents receive fresh water and the remaining must use water from drilled wells.
By the end of this year, 1,400 tanks will be installed to serve 98,000 households. By 2019, fresh water will be provided for 100 per cent of residents.
"Private capital needs to be mobilised to produce 3 million cu.m of fresh water for the entire city. At the same time, the quality and price of fresh water must be ensured," Council Chairwoman Tam said.
"Hygienic fresh water is very important. In the coming time, related authorities must increase the number of inspections and improve water quality," Tran Ngoc Ho, deputy director of the municipal Agriculture and Rural Development, said. — VNS