The Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè canal in HCM City. Massive construction in the southern part of HCM City, where the land is low-lying and the soil is marshy, has resulted in the disappearance of thousands of hectares of water bodies, experts fear.— Photo thanhnien.vn
HCM CITY— Massive construction in the southern part of HCM City, where the land is low-lying and the soil is marshy, has resulted in the disappearance of thousands of hectares of water bodies, experts fear.
Rice fields on the city’s outskirts, which were also crucial for flood management, have become part of the urban sprawl, worsening the city’s flooding problems, an official from the People’s Council’s Urban Board told a forum held last Saturday, November 12, 2016.
The city has been filling up lakes, ponds, canals and wetlands and converting them into urban areas, including 47 canals with a total area of 16.4 hectares and the 7.4ha Bình Tiên lake, one of the city’s most important reservoirs, he said.
The drainage system has failed to keep pace with the urbanisation while green areas in inner city parks have declined by half.
The city plans to remove nearly 20,000 houses situated along canals in the next five years to improve drainage systems and control flooding.
Nearly 10,000 houses in District 8 and 2,200 houses in District 7 illegally encroach on canals.
The city will earmark more than VNĐ156 trillion (US$7 billion) for anti-flooding works in the next five years.
The Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme has identified 66 areas that are flood-prone during the rainy season. —VNS