|The Hang Bang canal in HCM City will be widened to 11m, its original size. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS) — A 600 metre-odd stretch of the Hang Bang canal in HCM City's District 6 will be widened to 11m, its original size.
The 1,400m canal that joins Lo Gom Canal in District 6 with Van Tuong Canal in District 5, has narrowed to 2-3m at both ends besides the 600m stretch.
"The [600m] section of the canal was buried when the underground sewer was built in 1999–2000," Vo Van Van, head of the district's Site Clearance and Compensation Committee was quote as saying by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
"The widened canal will increase the flow of water and improve environmental quality."
The work will start next year and take four years.
"After the canal work is finished, 58 households in front of Binh Tay Market will be moved out to create a park," Van said.
Ngo Viet Nam Son, an architect, said, "A canal system that links up with the river system will help control flooding and improve the climate and environment."
Prof Dr Le Huy Ba, former head of the Industry University's Environment Management and Science Technology Institute, said, "Other polluted canals should be cleaned and widened."
The task might be very expensive but it would stop flooding in the city.
"If we don't have the money to renovate canals, at least keep them. The next generation will do it. We are not allowed to bury canals like Hang Bang."
Ho Phi Long, director of the National University HCM City's Water and Climate Change Centre, agreed: "This is the way to restore nature."
Reclaiming space for water is very important because with these spaces, water flow can be naturally adjusted and flooding avoided, he pointed out.
Many other canals like Hiep Tan in Tan Phu District and Phan Van Han in Binh Thanh District will be reclaimed and have roads built on top.
"The Hiep Tan canal project has been approved by the HCM City People's Committee and is awaiting funding," Nguyen Tan Luc, chairman of the Tan Phu District People's Committee, said.
Luc explained that building a road on a reclaimed canal would be cheaper than acquiring and clearing land.
According to an estimation by the Industry University's Environment Management and Science Technology Institute, around 30 per cent of the canals of the city are already gone.
Another estimate from the Southern Irrigation Science Institute says that between 1996 and 2008 HCM City lost 100 canals measuring a total of 4,000ha. — VNS