HÀ NỘI — The trial of nine former officials who are allegedly responsible for the 18 successive times ruptures of the Đà River pipeline will begin on March 5, the Hà Nội People’s Court announced on Monday.
The officials include three from the management board of the Đà River water supply construction and investment project: former director Hoàng Thế Trung, former deputy director Nguyễn Văn Khải and former supply division head Trương Trần Hiển.
Also on trial are Trần Cao Bằng and Vũ Thanh Hải, respectively, former director and deputy director of the Vinaconex Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyester Pipe company, which manufactured the water pipes for the Đà River project.
The last defendants are Đỗ Đình Trì, former head of the consultant and monitoring team of the Việt Nam Water, Sanitation and Environment Company (VIWASE), and its officers Nguyễn Biên Hùng, Hoàng Quốc Thống and Bùi Minh Quân.
Construction on the Đà River water pipeline project started in 2004 and was finished five years later. The line, however, broke for the first time in February 2012 and after that ruptured another 17 times.
Constant broken pipelines halted water supply to 177,000 households in Hà Nội for a total of 386 hours.
The incidents also forced the Vinaconex Water Supply company – the operator of the pipeline – to pay more than VNĐ16.6 billion (US$737,700) to fix the broken lines.
Inspections by the Ministry of Construction confirmed sub-par pipes caused all the ruptures.
The nine defendants were reported to have signed 73 product quality checks to confirm the quality of over 5,000 pipes and other parts. Many were later proved to be of low quality.
They were all charged with breaching construction regulations causing serious consequences.
The trial is expected to last for 10 days. — VNS