|Đà River pipeline broke 18 times after becoming operational in 2009. – Photo phapluatplus.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội People’s Court on Monday opened the first-instance criminal hearing of nine former officials who are allegedly responsible for the rupture of the Đà River pipeline 18 times.
The accused include former director Hoàng Thế Trung, former deputy director Nguyễn Văn Khải and former supply division head Trương Trần Hiển from the management board of the Đà River water supply construction and investment project; Trần Cao Bằng and Vũ Thanh Hải, former director and deputy director, respectively, of the Vinaconex Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester Pipe company, which manufactured the water pipes for the Đà River project; Đỗ Đình Trì, former head of the consultant and monitoring team of the Việt Nam Water, Sanitation and Environment Company, and its officers Nguyễn Biên Hùng, Hoàng Quốc Thống and Bùi Minh Quân.
Construction of the Đà River water pipeline project started in 2004 and was completed five years later.
However, from 2012 to 2016, the pipeline broke 18 times. Repair work cost more than VNĐ16.6 billion (US$737,700). Some 177,000 households, many hospitals and other public services in Hà Nội were affected by water shortage for 386 hours.
Inspection results in 2015 showed various violations in the pipeline’s manufacturing, construction and supervision. The pipes were found to be of low quality in some sections, and the management board had failed to test the quality before installation, noticing the flaws only during repair work after breakdowns.
The defendants were reported to have signed 73 product quality checks of acceptance and given approval to over 5,000 pipes and other parts for the project.
They were all charged with breaching construction regulations causing serious consequences.
The trial is expected to last for 10 days. — VNS
|Defendants at the court. – VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn |