Nguyễn Ngọc Sơn
Nguyễn Ngọc Sơn, deputy director of the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development speaks to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper on the city’s resolve to upgrade its dyke system along the Red River
What are the reasons why a detailed plan on the dyke system in Hà Nội has not been ratified by concerned authorities?
Following Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s approval of the master plan for the flood prevention and protection along the Red River and the Thái Bình River, Hà Nội authorities assigned the Hà Nội Department for Agriculture and Rural Development to review and make adjustments if necessary to all dykes in the city.
In late 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) gave approval to some of the dyke adjustment proposed by Hà Nội authorities and then submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
However, in the course of implementing the plan, on January 1, 2019, the new Law on Planning and related documents relating to the work of land planning came into force. Under the Law on Planning, the MARD has the responsibility to develop a plan on flood prevention on all river dyke systems in the country and then submit it to the Prime Minister for approval. Meanwhile, the Hà Nội People's Committee has the responsibility to develop a plan on flood prevention in the city only.
Will the delay on approving the plans harm the city’s socio-economic development?
No doubt about that. It will have a very serious impact on the lives of all people living in the city. At present, more than 64 residential areas in the inner districts and outlying districts will be seriously affected if floods occur.
Adding to that, the delay in the approval of a detailed flood prevention plan of the Red River has made some 36,000ha of land on the two sides of the river banks underutilised. This is a big loss to Hà Nội’s economic development. More seriously, the slow approval of the plan has also affected Hà Nội’s development plan from 2021-2020 and towards 2045.
Has the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development given advice to Hà Nội authorities to speed up the city’s master plan on flood prevention?
According to Vietnamese Law, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is the sole authority to review and make adjustments to the city’s plan on flood prevention and protection on the Red River and then submit to the Prime Minister for approval. Recently, Hà Nội authorities worked with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to review and make adjustments to the plan on flood prevention on the Red River and the Thái Bình River. At that meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường promised he would order his charges to oversee the problem and fix it as soon as possible.
Following that meeting, the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development assigned the Hà Nội Sub-Department of Dykes and Prevention of Storm and Flood to develop a plan to fix the problem immediately. VNS