Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Despite great efforts taken by HCM City authorities to fight flooding, many flood-control projects have been delayed by administrative procedures.
Residents of certain areas in the city have suffered from floods for decades, especially in the rainy season when roads and houses are flooded at high tide.
One of the city’s seven key economic development programmes in the 2016 – 2020 period, the flood combating programme has called for investment from the private sector
Investments were mobilised to build a huge pumping system on Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street in Bình Thạnh District and to combat high tides caused by climate change.
With an investment of nearly VNĐ10 trillion (US$425 million), construction of the first stage of the project to combat flooding caused by high tides began in June 2016.
The project covered 570 sq.km area with a population of 6.5 million on the right bank of the Sài Gòn River and the downtown area of the city.
Construction was scheduled to last 36 months and end in June next year.
The investors of the project later said construction would be completed in 24 months, and said if the site had been transferred to the investors in due time, site clearance would have been completed by April.
However, on April 27 this year, the investor said construction had been suspended because the city authority had not “signed papers for the bank to provide funds” for the project.
Construction was also hindered due to delays in site clearance.
The project, invested in by the Quang Trung Group, includes the huge pump on Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street in Bình Thạnh District.
But the project was suspended on August 31 due to “financial problems” facing Quang Trung Group.
According to the Quang Trung Group, the pump has been operating on Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street for two years, but the steering board of HCM City’s flood combating programme has not set rental rates for the pump.
The company’s request to advance funds for operation of the pump has not been met, according to the Quang Trung Group.
Nguyễn Tằng Cường, CEO of Quang Trung Group, said the pump had been used on 30 ocassions, helping to control floods on Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street.
Quang Trung Group had spent several years studying the flooding situation in the area, and had operated the pump in the last two rainy seasons.
But the company had no more funds to operate the pump, Cường added.
At a press meeting on Thursday (13 November), Nguyễn Tâm Tiến, CEO of Trung Nam Group, the investor of the project which aims to prevent floods from high tides, said construction of the project had stopped because funding had been suspended since April 27.
The suspension has caused losses of about VNĐ17 billion to VNĐ20 billion per month.
Tiến said 72 per cent of the construction of the project had been completed before suspension.—VNS