City flood control master plan inadequate: official

Update: November, 25/2016 - 11:00
Flooding on the 5km-long Lê Văn Lương Street in Nhà Bè District. The new master flooding plan is expected to stop the recurring flooding. - VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities are being urged to develop a master plan for flood control as new flood-prone areas have emerged and flooding has re-occurred in others.

Hoàng Minh Trí, deputy head of the Institute for Development Studies, said the city has allocated funds to develop water drainage systems and waste water treatment. Though some of the solutions stopped flooding, some areas in the city face flooding again, he said.

He said the city must reassess previous solutions, discover shortcomings, and come up with a master plan for flood control.

Trí spoke at a conference held yesterday in HCM City that reviewed the flooding situation over the past 40 years.

Đỗ Tấn Long, head of the division for water drainage at the city’s Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme, said the city had created a master plan for the drainage system to 2020.

Under the plan, the city is upgrading or building 6,000 kilometres of drains and 12 waste water treatment plants. In addition, 5,075 kilometres of canals are being upgraded.

As of now, 4,167 of the 6,000 kilometres of drains have been built, and the construction on first phase of one waste water treatment plant has finished.

The city will also begin construction of three of reservoirs, he said.

The master plan for drainage systems also includes construction of 10 drains for control of tides. Construction on one of the drains, Thiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè, has been completed.

Long said the Việt Nam Fatherland Front and other state political and social organisations are helping to improve public awareness about the need to stop throwing rubbish into canals.

These groups are helping to supervise parts of the city flood-control strategy, he added.

Dr Nguyễn Kỳ Phùng, deputy head of the city’s Department of Science and Technology, said the city should focus on dredging canals to avoid blockage and that illegal encroachment near or on canals should be stopped as soon as possible.

The city has 3,020 canals with a total length of 5,047 kilometres, he said, adding that the canals play an important role in regulating water and temperatures.

Recovering green areas and replacing sidewalks with grass or a special kind of cement that drains rain water were two other solutions suggested at the conference.

According to the city’s Party Committee Secretary Đinh La Thăng, who wrote an article published in Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper on Monday, the city has low terrain and is affected by climate change and rising sea levels. This has led to heavier rains and higher tides in recent years.     

The city’s priority objective to 2020 will be solving flooding in the city centre and parts of five outlying areas covering a total area of 550 square kilometres, with a population of 6.5 million.

Between now and 2018, the city aims to eliminate flooding caused by heavy rains on eight roads.

Projects for 13 other regularly flooded roads will also be implemented, while drains in 60 alleys, which are often flooded after rains, will be improved.

In addition, the city will speed up the rate of progress of construction on three waste water treatment plants, including Tham Lương-Bến Cát with capacity of 131,000 cu.m per day and Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè and the Bình Hưng plant with increased capacity of 469,000 cu.m per day. — VNS