HÀ NỘI — Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung has said he will no longer tolerate any delays to the construction of a wastewater treatment facility that is expected to address long-standing water pollution in the increasingly crowded city.
Chung made the comment on Tuesday as he inspected the progress of the Yên Xá wastewater treatment plant in the suburban district of Thanh Trì, which is being built with financial support from Japan.
The city’s largest wastewater project, capable of handling 270,000 cu.m of wastewater a day, started in 2016 and was originally slated for completion in 2021. Municipal authorities wanted to push the completion date forward to 2019, but delays in contractor selections have led to missed deadlines.
“For years, people in Hà Nội have had to put up with the pollution caused by untreated wastewater discharged into the Tô Lịch River,” Chung said, referring to the notoriously foul river which has been dubbed the “black river” or “dead river” that authorities have previously tried to restore to its original state but to little effect.
The Yên Xá plant, their latest and most comprehensive effort, has a system that will collect and treat all the wastewater from households and factories along the Tô Lịch River that would otherwise be dumped directly into the waterway.
“Once operational, the river will be reborn, which is something many residents have wanted for a long time,” Chung said.
Furthermore, the project will serve wastewater treatment for seven districts in the city – including the inner urban districts of Ba Đình, Cầu Giấy, Thanh Xuân and Đống Đa, and the suburban districts of Hoàng Mai, Hà Đông and Thanh Trì.
Chung said that the project could be completed by 2021 if construction plans changed and asked the contractor deploy more machinery and workers to speed up the project, especially the construction of the wastewater collection system.
“The earlier the project is completed, the sooner the city will benefit,” he said.
Stressing the ecological importance of the project, Chung said municipal transport and construction departments needed to plan upgrades to sidewalks and transform the landscape along the Tô Lịch River in order to attract pedestrians to the site and “make better use” of the investment in the Yên Xá facility.
According to Nguyễn Văn Hùng, director of Hà Nội’s Drainage and Sewage Project Management Board, the Yên Xá project will serve an area of 4,874ha with a population of 900,000 people.
The total length of the pipelines reach 52.6km.
The project has cost VNĐ16.3 trillion (US$700 million), with ODA loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency covering 84 per cent of the total. — VNS
Yên Xá wastewater treatment project construction site in Thanh Trì District, Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Khánh