City officials vie to solve flooding problem
|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.
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
Residents should report
flooding as well as violations that cause it, Dang said. — VNS