Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Inland waterways are becoming increasingly vital for economic development and HCM City should consider how to improve the efficiency of its waterway system, an official has said.
City-and central-managed waterway routes and 319 large and small sea and river ports make up a huge waterway system that connects the key southern economic region with the outside world.
“Therefore, waterway management and exploitation are very important for the city’s socio-economic development,” an official from the city’s Department of Transport was quoted as saying in the Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.
Proper investment in waterways would help significantly reduce transport costs as well as ease the enormous pressure on the road system, he said.
Expansion of waterways, unlike roads, is inexpensive, a big advantage for the former.
“One 300-tonne barge can transport the same goods as 15 heavy trucks and is less polluting,” the official said.
The advantage is even greater when it comes to transporting very long or heavy objects, he said.
It is necessary to invest in waterways, especially on important routes, he said.
According to the city’s domestic waterways master plan, there are five important inland waterway routes that are wide and deep enough for medium-sized and large vessels.
“These five … are key waterway transport routes linking the central-managed waterway system of Ông Lớn Canal-Cây Khô Channel-Cần Giuộc River with the Soài Rạp River route for seagoing vessels,” the official said.
Such systems would help easily move import and export goods to and from the crowded Cát Lái and Hiệp Phước seaports.
All five routes are navigable by 50-100-tonne vessels.
According to the transport department’s Inland Waterway Management Division, after authorities dredge the five routes, they will meet three main standards for an important waterway route: allowing ships to sail from shallow to deep spots, from seaports to cities, and from small to big ports.
They will directly connect seaports in HCM City, the country’s biggest economic hub, with the Mekong Delta, which accounts for most of the country’s agricultural production.
The Dơi Canal-Kinh River route measures only nine kilometres but links all ports in the downtown area with the Hiệp Phước Seaport.
This helps businesses save the time and expenditure required to transport their import-export goods between the downtown ports and Hiệp Phước.
The Tôm canal-Phước Kiểng branch route connects all ports in Districts 4 and 7 with Hiệp Phước sea port through Đỉa and Ông Lớn channels.
The Chiếc Canal-Trau Trảu Canal route connects the Sài Gòn and Đồng Nai Rivers, allowing the neighbouring province of Đồng Nai to access Cát Lái Port and those in Thủ Đức District.
The Giồng Canal-Kinh Lộ River route links Hiệp Phước Port with Mekong Delta provinces and the Sài Gòn, Đồng Nai and Soài Rạp rivers link Hiệp Phước Port with Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu. — VNS