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Quality of water pipelines worries capital's residents

Update: July, 14/2014 - 09:02

Workers repair the pipeline carrying water from the Da River to the capital which has burst nine times this year. — VNS Photo Courtesy of

HA NOI (VNS) — A series of recent incidents in which the pipeline carrying water from the Da River to the capital broke, has caused the public to become concerned about the quality of Ha Noi's infrastructure.

Further, city authorities have announced a decision to urgently build a second water pipeline.

"The city has lost its patience with Vinaconex Company [Vinaconex Clean Water Joint Stock Company, which built the water pipeline]," newspapers have quoted Nguyen Quoc Hung, vice chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, as saying at an urgent meeting held on Saturday to address the problem.

"We cannot let them [Vinaconex] play games with the people's lives any longer."

The water pipeline bringing water from Da River to the capital, which was broken for the ninth time on Saturday morning, only two days after a similar incident, again disrupted the lives of 70,000 city residents, was fixed yesterday, the Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) website reported.

But Hung said, "What's worrying is that there is no guarantee it won't be broken again."

Nguyen Van Ton, Vinaconex's director, has admitted that the reason for the latest incident was because the quality of the water pipeline failed to meet the required standards.

According to VOV, Ton said the water pipeline was found to have a 30-centimetre crack in it. The crack was fixed by replacing a new 2.2-metre pipeline.

The position of the broken pipeline was determined to be under the Thang Long Highway, within the capital's suburban district of Hoai Duc. Those effected by the breakage include residents of Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay and Hoang Mai districts.

The total cost for repairing broken pipelines has reportedly reached nearly VND10 billion (US$476,100).

Public frustration has been expressed in the media about how vulnerable the city's infrastructures were, and about the poor work that had been done in maintaining it.

Tran Thi Nhan, a resident on Thanh Xuan District's Vuong Thua Vu Street, said she expected similar incidents to happen again, adding that she has "gotten used to it".

Second pipeline

The Vinaconex Company, at the meeting on Saturday, proposed to build the second water pipeline themselves to fix the problem, but its proposal was rejected by city vice chairman Hung.

Hung said that the city had "lost trust" in Vinaconex and that one million city residents cannot depend on a vulnerable pipeline.

Further, the city repeatedly ordered the company to start the project, but it had been delayed.

After the city People's Committee's discussion with State agencies, Hung concluded that the city would invest in an urgent project to build a second water pipeline that would run in parallel with the existing pipeline. The second pipeline would be located north of the Thang Long Highway and be 28 kilometres in length. It would provide water for 70,000 city residents, with the capacity of 100,000 cubic metres of water per day.

The Ha Noi Department of Construction has been assigned to work as the project investor and co-operate with other agencies to begin the project as soon as possible.

The project is expected to be complete in 60 days, at the earliest, as experts have suggested and agreed on construction details at the meeting. — VNS

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