Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has agreed with a proposal from the Hà Nội’s People’s Committee to lower the level of the Hồng (Red) River dyke and asked local authorities to plan an itinerary.
Earlier, the municipal People’s Committee proposed lowering a 1.1-km section of the dyke running from the Thắng Lợi Hotel to An Dương mouth gate in Tây Hồ District from 13.4 metres to 12.4 metres.
The local authorities said that the height reduction would facilitate the construction of a flyover at the An Dương-Thanh Niên crossroads. It will also help residents living along the dyke reach Nghi Tàm road more easily and widen the road by one lane.
The proposal also included the replacement of the soil-made structure of the dyke by an L-shaped reinforced concrete barrier to ensure flood safety.
According to the proposal, several hydropower dams such as Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Lai Châu dams were built on the upper reaches of the Hồng River. These dams control water flow on the river and prevent floods in Hà Nội. Authorities will study constructing a route running along the Hồng River to support the river’s existing dyke system so the elevation reduction is possible.
Chu Phú Mỹ, director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the proposal actually asks for permission to build a concrete wall as high as the dyke and to lower the dyke surface.
As the Hồng River section from Thắng Lợi Hotel to An Dương mouth gate plays an important role in ensuring the safety of the city centre, MARD asked local authorities to urge agencies to design plans to ensure that the height of the dyke is not lower than the water level proposed in the project.
The ministry also asked Hà Nội to plan to protect, manage and operate the dyke safely when floods rise.
Local authorities were also directed to receive comments from the Việt Nam Irrigation Association and experts in irrigation.
The proposal has received both agreement and criticism from experts. According to Dr Đào Trọng Tứ, advisor at the Việt Nam River Network, the proposal is feasible because it does not damage the dyke’s structure or scenery.
Meanwhile, some experts said the dyke is very important. Its height reduction might result in unforeseen consequences in the flood season.
Vũ Xuân Thành, head of the dyke management department under MARD’s Water Resource Directorate told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that the dyke is important, especially during unexpected rainy seasons. When water levels in reservoirs increase, the water level can exceed the designed capacity by 2.6m.
“Sometimes, the dyke system is not high enough to avoid floods so we cannot neglect it, the water releases from China also make it difficult to manage,” he said. — VNS