|HCM City is one of the first localities in the country that has achieved all of its targets for developing rural transport, bringing greater ease of movement to many residents.— VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Newly built rural roads in HCM City have brought greater ease of movement to many residents, but more capital is needed as the city continues developing its rural transport infrastructure for the 2016-20 period.
A recent survey detailed how, by the end of 2015, nearly 100 per cent of the inter-district and commune routes were asphalted and had at least two traffic lanes.
HCM City is one of the first localities in the country that has achieved all of its targets for developing rural transport.
With a total investment of over VND7,700 billion (US$345 thousand), of which 20 per cent was contributed by local residents, the city has built more than 1,500 new rural roads, as well as building or renovating more than 500 bridges in the nearby provinces and communes.
Currently, most rural roads have been upgraded to level A, which are roads that run from village to commune, from commune to commune, and from commune to rice field.
Nearly 100 per cent of the main roads that connect rice fields and residential areas meet the criteria for urban roads.
Contribution of local residents Nguyen Thi Hoa, a resident in Trung Lap Thuong Commune's Trung Binh Hamlet in Cu Chi District, is excited about newly asphalted Road 708, which runs in front of her house.
"In addition to the city's investment, we (the hamlet's residents) contributed more than VND300 million to assist in the completion of the road," she said. "Now we can visit our neighbours during the Lunar New Year holiday without having to battle dust and potholes."
Similarly, the newly completed inter-communal roads in Can Gio District's Ly Nhon Commune are making it easier for residents to deliver and sell their agricultural products.
Residents in Tâan Nhut Commune of Binh Chanh District, who live amongst numerous canal systems, can now travel on the new roads, instead of walking or traveling by boat.
Support from local residents was one of the crucial factors in the improvement of rural areas, said Le Thanh Liem, vice chairman of the HCM City People's Committee.
"We formed steering committees and collaborated with the relevant forces to encourage contributions from local residents," he said.
"Effective communications achieved their agreement and support, creating favorable conditions to complete the transport improvement projects in time," noted Liem.
Pay attention to quality
Since many districts in HCM City are still in the middle of the urbanisation process, their plans for urban construction, residential areas and agricultural production areas often overlap.
This requires rural transport development projects to be planned carefully to ensure their feasibility.
"During the 2016-20 period, the city will continue to develop the rural transport systems in both quantity and quality," said Nguyen Thanh Chung, director of the HCM City transport department.
"We will develop both water transport and road traffic systems in order to improve the delivery of agricultural products to farmers living in the city," he said. "Also, traffic signs will be positioned effectively to prevent accidents on inter-communal roads."
Call for support
The city aims to construct at least two lanes on 100 per cent of the major communal roads, to apply asphalt and concrete to 100 per cent of the rural roads, as well as improve 100 per cent of the waterways and establish bus routes going to all commune centres.
To achieve those objectives, the city's transport department asked the transport ministry for support with investment capital, as well as calling for different forms of investment from different sectors, Chung said.
"Local residents can provide support by donating land, work days, as well as funding, to assist in the progress of the development," said Nguyen Thi Hanh, deputy head of division of Nha Be District People's Committee. — VNS