|The new Bình Lợi Railway Bridge in HCM City’s Bình Thạnh District has a higher clearance than the old one to enable large vessels to pass through.— VNA/VNS Photo Văn Phúc|
HCM CITY — The waterway links between HCM City and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region through river and canal networks, which are proved to be more advantageous to trade than their road counterparts, have not been fully utilised.
According to the Việt Nam Inland Waterway Administration, the inland waterway transport system in the delta measures 13,000km but traffic on these parts is not as busy as it should be.
Thus, 70 per cent of goods coming from the Delta to HCM City ports and Cái Mép – Thị Vãi Port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province are transported by road, which costs 10-60 per cent more than waterway transport.
In a recent report on plans to develop HCM city's waterway network, Trần Vĩnh Tuyến, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city has 92 waterway routes but only eight meet transport requirements.
Besides, the delta has 117 bridges with low clearance, making it difficult for ships to sail under them.
Trần Quang Trung, head of the Southern Region Inland Waterway Administration, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that to develop waterway transport all the low bridges need to be replaced.
In HCM City, authorities dismantled the Phú Long Bridge in District 12 and replaced the old Bình Lợi Railway Bridge in Bình Thạnh District with a new taller one this year, he said.
Delta authorities have begun building a new Mang Thít Bridge in Vĩnh Long Province and Nàng Hai Bridge in Đồng Tháp Province to begin waterway transportation between HCM City and Kiên Giang Province, he said.
Infrastructure for inland waterway routes must be developed simultaneously, with inland ports and wharves in the delta equipped with advanced technologies and equipment for loading and unloading and transshipment, he added. — VNS