Ha Noi's dykes must be strengthened as the monsoon season nears, Do Duc Thinh, director of Ha Noi Dike Management and Flood Control Department tells Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi).
Many serious cases of dyke violations have been dealt with. However, the situation has not improved. Why?
Under the Dyke Law, the local authorities are empowered to handle small cases of dyke violations in their localities.
However, the attitude of showing consideration to the violators still influences the local officials when they make the decisions.
In addition, many violators do know that what they did was wrong and against the law. Yet, their actions were for their families and livelihood. For example, they built small huts or small workshops on the dyke protection corridor.
Under the Dyke Law, the rights and obligations of authorities at all levels are well defined. Then why did the Ha Noi municipal authorities not use the law to penalise their subordinates for failing to perform their duties?
As I have mentioned above, under the law, the senior boss has the power to penalise his subordinate if he or she fails to perform their duty. For us, in the municipal department, we have resolved to give due punishment to anyone who is found neglecting his duty which can lead to serious consequences.
What measures will your department take to protect the dykes from encroachment?
We have made a list of all encroachments.
During a recent meeting, we decided to ask the Ha Noi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the City's People's Committee to launch a campaign to clear all huts and houses built illegally on the dyke, dyke protection corridors or flood corridors. By now, I can say that all inner precincts, outlying districts, towns and departments have established their steering committees for storm and flood control and prevention.
I am confident that there will be no more encroachments on the dykes after all the huts and houses built illegally on the dykes or dyke protection corridors are cleared.
As the rainy season is approaching, what is the status of dykes and embankments in Ha Noi?
This year's weather was forecast to be unpredictable, and could threaten the safety of dykes, reservoirs and irrigation plants.
Every year, the government allocates hundreds of billions of dong to consolidate and repair dykes and reservoirs to ensure that they operate safely during the flood season.
However, during our recent inspections, we detected nine weak points in the dyke system, plus four key areas which need to be consolidated in the 2014 storm control and flood season.
I can say that by now we have developed various scenarios to prepare for the upcoming rainy season in June.
Ha Noi has nearly 800 kilometres of dykes, 167 kilometres of embankments and 84 flood and storm run-offs. Over 37 kilometres of dykes along the Hong (Red) River are directly protecting the city centre. — VNS