Kinh Dương Vương Street in HCM City's District 5 under water after heavy rain. The increased number of new residential areas and vehicles in suburban areas have created more pressure on infratructure facilities. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
HCM CITY — Many infrastructure facilities, including roads are overloaded as many new residential areas have been built and the number of means of transportation rapidly rise in suburban areas of HCM City in the past few years.
It takes longer time for residents from these residential areas to travel in these suburban districts. Lê Thanh Tú, a 34-year-old resident from HCM City’s District 7, said it takes him from 45 to 60 minutes to travel the 6km road from his home to his office in District 5
Meanwhile, all members of his family have to “enjoy specialties such as traffic congestions” every morning and evening.
Tú said the two bridges of Nguyễn Văn Cừ and Kênh Tẻ connecting his home to his office in District 5 are overloaded and he has to depart from his home at 6 a.m every morning because he would not like to be trapped in traffic jams on the roads for 30 minutes.
“We were haunted with travelling on these roads every day,” said Tú.
According to a report on Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper, on the morning of April 5, hundreds of cars and motorcyles were jammed on the Nguyễn Hữu Thọ Street in District 7, struggling to reach Kênh Tẻ Bridge.
Construction of a number of residential areas and apartment buildings in Districts 7 and Nhà Bè are blamed to the traffic problems in the area. Along a section of Nguyễn Hữu Thọ Street bordering Nhà Bè District, over ten apartment buildings and tenements were erected, and are populated with over 10,000 residents.
“As soon as we leave our homes, we encounter traffic problems,” said Tú.
Residents from other districts also face traffic jams.
It takes residents from the suburban district of Hóc Môn, which is 19km apart from the centre of District 1, from 60 minutes to 70 minutes to travel from their homes to offices (in District 1), because the two major roads in the district – Trường Chinh and Quang Trung streets – are encountering frequent traffic jams.
An ex-official of the Hóc Môn District authority said despite the rising number of immigrants from other localities coming to Hóc Môn, no new road was built in Hóc Môn District in the past decade, causing more and more serious traffic problems to the district.
The increasing number of labourers from Districts 2, 9 and Thủ Đức seeking jobs in the inner districts of HCM City every day has added fuel to the fire, causing frequent traffic jams on Hà Nội Highway, Mai Chí Thọ Boulevard, Thủ Thiêm Bridge and Thủ Thiêm Underground Tunnel.
In addition, the operation of apartments, office buildings, and business centres in the inner districts have also made the situation even worse.
According to reports from Bình Chánh District People’s Committee, the district has faced under-developed infrastructure development. The rising number of migrants re-settling in Hóc Môn every year has increased the number of means of transportation in the district. However, inadequate investment in infrastructure development has caused environmental problems such as traffic jams, flooding, and air pollution.
Huỳnh Văn Thanh, head of Bình Chánh District’s Urban Management Division, said Bình Chánh has over 1,000 roads but over half of them do not have other infrastructure facilities, such as pavements, and lighting systems. Many of them have as yet been asphalted. To travel in Hóc Môn or to other districts, Hóc Môn residents have to use highways such as the National Highway No 1A, the National Highway No 50, and the provincial Road No 10.
According to the management of the Thủ Thiêm Underground Tunnels, the establishing of urban areas in the eastern districts of HCM City has helped attract a large number of residents to these districts. But construction of bridges spanning Sài Gòn River such as Thủ Thiêm Bridges No 2, 3 and 4 have yet completed, causing frequent traffic congestions in these suburban districts.
Architect Võ Kim Cương from HCM City said infrastructure in Việt Nam is different from the situations in other countries over the world, and the inappropriate infrastructure development is one of the reasons behind the overload of the infrastructure facilities in HCM City. Instead of infrastructure development first, before the construction of houses and other accommodations. Relevant authorities have given permission for building houses and accommodation before developing infrastructure facilities.
Construction of the city’s beltways has as yet be completed, and residents of the districts in Sài Gòn South who want to travel to the northern districts have to travel through the city’s centre. Inadequate infrastructure development and the rising number of traffic are reasons behind the traffic problems facing the urban districts of HCM City, said Cương. — VNS