A flooded street in HCM City after a heavy downpour. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — HCM City plans to allocate VNĐ4,500 billion from the city budget for 12 key irrigation projects between 2021 and 2025.
Irrigation projects are crucial for agricultural production and flood control in HCM City.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reviewed the irrigation plan between 2014 and 2020 and proposed the implementation of another 12 irrigation works between 2021 and 2025.
According to MARD, the city has invested in and upgraded multiple irrigation works, fulfilling the irrigation criteria in the National Target Programme for New Rural Development.
The work has helped create favourable conditions for people’s travel needs and the transport of materials and agricultural products, and ensured irrigation for agricultural production, among other benefits.
However, the investment in the current irrigation system has been mainly focused on construction of key works.
For example, only four of eight components of a dike project along the right bank of Sài Gòn River from Vàm Thuật River to Bến Súc Bridge have been completed.
Management, exploitation, maintenance and repair of irrigation works have not been done well, and investment efficiency has not been maximised, according to experts.
12 projects, five years
Because of rapid urbanisation, new requirements have been set for irrigation works for agriculture, aquaculture, forest-fire prevention, and water supply, among other criteria.
MARD is seeking HCM City People’s Committee’s approval for the 12 irrigation projects spanning Bình Chánh, Hóc Môn, and Củ Chi Districts and District 12 between 2021 and 2025.
Specifically, the first priority list consists of seven projects, worth VNĐ2,600 billion, and the second list five projects, worth VNĐ1,900 billion.
Some notable projects include the upgrading of the irrigation system of East Củ Chi Canal, a new sluice to control Tra Canal’s tides, clearance of Lu River’s flow and a new dyke line around Rạch Tra.
Engineer Lê Thành Công said that HCM City’s current anti-flooding plan has been ineffective, saying that it "built solid work outside but left the inside empty”.
Most of the projects being proposed are in-field work, which controls the flow of water within each basin. Even though they align relatively well with flood control principles, many projects approved since 2014 are now outdated.
It is crucial to adjust the master plan or else they will overlap and conflict with the anti-flooding plan 1547 and other plans that HCM City is currently implementing.
Basic standards regarding water drainage, such as rain, water level and calculation methods used for many projects, are outdated as well, Công said, adding that in-depth study on drainage is needed to ensure project effectiveness. - VNS