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HCM City officials vie to solve flooding problem

Update: March, 17/2005 - 00:00

HCM City officials vie to solve flooding problem

(17-03-2005)

Residents of HCM City drive through floodwaters. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan

HCM CITY — Flooding in HCM City’s inner districts will be rectified in 2007, said Ha Van Dung, the director of the municipal Transport and Public Works Department (TPWD) at a conference late last week.

He said the department is now developing four major anti-flood projects including a waste water plant and the improvement of waterways, canals, and sewage systems.

These projects will hopefully prevent flooding in the city’s 100 most flood-prone areas.

"The development of these projects, however, is not going smoothly because of difficulties in funding and land clearance," Dung said.

Dung said the projects will succeed when the affected districts assist the TPWD in clearing land for the project and city authorities help the department complete procedures that are holding back funding.

At the conference, TPWD deputy director Tran Dinh Phu said many areas of HCM City struggle with severe flooding despite efforts to tackle the problem.

Phu said more than 100 areas in the city become waterlogged every rainy season even though the city spends tens of billions annually to fix drainage and sewerage systems.

The five most affected areas include: Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Vam Thuan; Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe; Tan Hoa-Ong Buong-Lo Gom va Kenh Tau Hu-Ben Nghe-Kenh Doi-Kenh Te .

Phu said, the city has prevented flooding in 50 areas in recent years but new problem areas arise.

"Except for some downtown districts, such as one, three and five, most drainage systems in the city remain in dismal condition," Phu said.

Flooding is exacerbated because the city does not have a proper water treatment system for household, industrial and hospital waste water.

Also, many canals are not dredged regularly, a necessity for proper drainage particularly since as much as 100 tonnes of rubbish are dumped into the city canals each day.

Illegally-built houses along the canals and discharge from them also hinder their flow.

For example, about 1,130 illegally-built houses occupy the Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal and 2,300 houses block the Cau Son and Cau Bong Rivulet, Phu said.

Another factor is unplanned urban development, he said. In the past, the Bon Xa intersection was never flooded but now it is one of the city’s most flooded areas because houses replaced the natural drainage system.

Dang Van Khoa from the municipal People’s Council said in addition to reparation projects the city must penalise those that harm the drainage systems.

Le Hieu Dang, vice president of the municipal Fatherland Front Committee, suggested that the TPWD co-operate with local people and enterprises on a detailed, anti-flood programme.

Residents should report flooding as well as violations that cause it, Dang said. — VNS

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