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Abandoned construction sites up HN debts

Update: August, 07/2017 - 09:00
An abandoned water factory in Thụy Hương Commune of the capital city’s outer Chương Mỹ District. — Photo tienphong.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Some expensive construction works built within the new rural development programme in Hà Nội have either never been used or are rarely used.

A VNĐ20 billion (US$880,000) water factory with two water pumping stations in the outer Chương Mỹ District’s Thụy Hương Commune has been abandoned for years, even though the commune is a new rural area – an achievement for which constructing the factory was considered a criterion, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

A commune resident Đặng Đình Văn, 60, said the factory never became operational. “The stations costed dozens of billions of đồng to build, but we haven’t had a drop of water from them and had to dig wells to get water ourselves,” he said.

Nguyễn Hữu Lam, chairman of the commune’s vegetable co-operative, said one of the two stations has been providing water for the co-operative.

The stations were designed to serve the commune’s plan of developing 79.5ha of vegetable planting areas, he added. However, since local farmers can only maintain 5ha due to low consumption, only one station currently works, he said.

Nguyễn Hữu Thắng, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, said that the two water stations have been idle since local residents have no demand to use them. They will be able to operate normally upon the residents’ request, he said.

A water factory in the outer Phúc Thọ District’s Võng Xuyên Commune is in a similar situation. Launched five years ago at a total cost of VNĐ9 billion ($396,000), it has been operating at only 20 per cent of total capacity.

A representative from the Võng Xuyên Commune’s People’s Committee said that local authorities only began managing the water factory at the beginning of this year. Its idlesness is due to a lack of specialised operating officials, and moderate demand of residents in nearby neighbourhoods, he said.

The inactivity of these construction works are part of the reason for the outstanding debt of some localities to the State within the new rural development programme, said Lê Thiết Cương, manager of the Hà Nội Rural Development Branch.

The capital city’s total amount of outstanding debt is VNĐ120 billion ($5.23 million), most of which belongs to the outer districts of Ba Vì and Quốc Oai, he said. Thụy Hương Commune has the biggest outstanding debt among the communes, reaching VNĐ30 billion ($1.3 million), he added.

Cương said that the branch has directed Chương Mỹ People’s Committee to help Thụy Hương farmers restructure their farming methods so that both water stations can become operational.

For the Võng Xuyên water factory to operate at full capacity, local residents should be aware of the importance of using filtered water and agree to use water from the factory instead of rain water and water from wells, he said.

The new rural development scheme aims to build new-style rural areas to lift the material and spiritual living standards of people. — VNS

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