|The Sài Gòn River is important to HCM City as its fresh water supply and a waterway route with many ports.— VNS Photo Văn Châu|
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Construction to set up inspection teams to ensure there is no encroachment on the Sài Gòn River’s banks.
At least 100 works will be checked for encroachment, according to the department.
They are in nine districts: 1, 2, 4, 7, 12, Bình Thạnh, Củ Chi, Hóc Môn, and Thủ Đức.
The inspectors will assess the legal records of 88 approved projects adjacent to the river and 33 housing projects in river protection corridors and propose penalties for projects that have violated regulations.
The city requires riverside construction sites to be allocated 30-50 metres away from river banks.
But the Saigon Riverside joint venture’s Riverside project has 13 structures located a mere 7.5m from the river, and Văn Minh Co., Ltd. has buildings 10m from the bank.
Others violators include Hải Vương Co., Ltd., Thế Minh Construction Co., Ltd., SSG JSC, and Geleximco South.
The inspection results will be sent to the People’s Committee by January 15.
Construction works are endangering the banks of the Sài Gòn, which supplies drinking water to the city.
Originating from Bình Phước, the river runs through the provinces of Tây Ninh and Bình Dương before reaching the city, where it flows for around 80km.
From a boat, it is easy to see many construction works along both banks of the river.
In districts 12, Bình Thạnh, Gò Vấp, Thủ Đức, and 2, dozens of houses are built along the water. A dozen houses and buildings have been built along the riverbank in Thủ Đức.
Houses and other works can also be seen along the bank of the river in Thảo Điền Ward in District 2.
Construction of embankments has narrowed the river in some places.
Architect Ngô Viết Nam Sơn, a construction expert based in the city, said the encroachment of the safety corridors and banks had affected the flow of the river and posed a risk of collapse of the banks.
All works flouting safety regulations issued in 2004 must be removed to ensure safety, he warned.
The city's Department of Planning and Architecture has also urged the People’s Committee to order inspections and impose stringent penalties for illegal encroachment. — VNS