|Workers build a dyke in Thu Duc District, HCM City. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on the city to step up efforts to prevent flooding that plagues several inner districts. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Huan
HCM CITY (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on the HCM City administration to step up efforts to prevent the flooding that plagues several inner districts.
The city also needed to keep a close eye on zoning plans for reservoirs and speed up construction of new reservoirs to reduce flooding, he said in an official correspondence released by the Government earlier this week.
The city had to dredge and remove blockages in its canals to facilitate drainage and reduce the extent of flooding.
Related ministries, agencies and the city People's Committee had to work together to raise funds for water-drainage and flood-prevention works.
The money could be obtained from the Government and ODA loans, through public-private partnerships and by utilising its lands and other means.
The Government has approved zoning plans for water drainage and flood prevention in 2016 –20 and 2021 –25, which are focused on combating floods in the city centre.
It has also approved addition of two culverts to the zoning plan for better tide control in the South Sai Gon area.
It has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to collaborate with HCM City and Long An Province to devise measures to combat floods in the area of South Sai Gon.
According to the HCM City Flood Combating Centre, the height of the tides have increased in the past few years due to the impact of climate change, and will worsen the flooding if the city does not take effective steps to counter it.
Statistics provided by the centre reveal that the highest tide level at the Phu An Hydrological Station was 1.68m recorded in 2013.
But between 2011 and 2014 tides of over 1.5m have occurred 76 times while almost two-thirds of the city lies at an altitude of less than 1.5 metres above sea level.
To carry out all necessary works to eliminate flooding, HCM City needs VND51.3 trillion (over US$2.3 billion) in the next five years, a meeting held in mid-July to discuss flood control heard.
They include building stormwater drains, a tide-control system and wastewater treatment facilities, according to the HCM City Flood Combating Centre.
To protect 55,450ha of inner districts from flooding, the city needs eight tide-control culverts, 68 sewers and hundreds of kilometres of embankment along the Sai Gon River and the extensive network of canals.
Construction of these structures is expected to be completed by 2018.
Building and upgrading the drainage system will be financed by the Government, four waste water treatment plants will be funded through PPPs (public-private partnership), and loans will be obtained for the remaining projects.
The centre has called on the Government to approve the works so that they can get underway, and dispatch experts to HCM City to oversee them.
Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy Chairman of the city People's Committee, told the centre to finalise the anti-flooding project, especially the plans for repaying the loans obtained for it. — VNS