tides elude HCM City drainage solution
|Flood water inundates
District 2 in HCM City causing traffic mayhem and making life miserable
for city dwellers. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan
HCM CITY— Waters are
rising in HCM City, flooding streets and neighbourhoods with relative frequency
and posing major concerns for city officials, who deem a solution to the problem
is still a long way off.
A recent conference
addressing HCM City’s drainage strategies stated that 944km of the city’s
sluice gates are capable of getting rid of only 30 per cent of the city’s
water. Participants said that 30 per cent of the sluice gates above need to be
upgraded, and another 12 per cent are not even operational.
Another problem, according
to conference participants, is that 12,648ha of agricultural land, ponds and
lakes have been slotted for development.
constructions sites and sheets of cement have only worsened the situation, with
floods damaging over 30,000 houses.
HCM City has several
projects working to combat the problem but no progress has yet been made.
While last year 105 areas
were flooded by rain and tide water, presently the figure has risen to 124.
Phan Khanh, an engineer,
discussed a drainage plan issued for HCM City in 2001. According to the plan,
VND40 trillion to VND60 trillion were allotted for each 650sqkm of sluice gates.
But only VND5,000 billion, or approximately 10 per cent of the total, has been
Regarding roads, Doctor
Nguyen An Nien said that although projects have been implemented, officials have
still not focused enough attention on water discharge. Nien said the road
upgrades have closed off many residential areas, circling them and producing a
Another professor, Nguyen
Sinh Huy, said if the city actually hopes to expand, it must first get control
of the tides, flooding and drainage.
Many have suggested
creating lakes to reduce the problem including Dr. Nguyen Hong Binh. According
to Binh, the central area of the city is an area ideal for funnelling water.
Relatively hollow underground, the sluice gate system could be improved by
filling this area with underground concrete lakes to contain the run-off.
Regardless of the
solution, a senior official at the HCM City Transport and Public Services
forecast that the city will likely experience the problem until at least 2020.