|Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street in HCM City’s Bình Thạnh District is flooded after a heavy rain. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
HCM CITY — A top HCM City official has urged Nhà Bè District to speed up compensation and site clearance so that land can be handed over to ensure that an ongoing flood-prevention project worth VNĐ10 trillion (US$430 million) can be completed next year.
Speaking at a recent meeting with district leaders, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, secretary of the city Party Committee, said: “This is an urgent task as delay will worsen flooding in the entire city.”
Hoàng Tùng, chairman of the district People’s Committee, said the district has been negotiating with 18 out of 140 households who have refused to move because of disagreements about compensation rates.
To speed up the process, the district has asked the city People’s Committee to approve additional compensation rate as proposed by the district.
The district has also asked the city’s Land Price Assessment Council to work with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to approve the coefficient used for land price adjustments so that compensation rates can be calculated for the affected households.
According to the Nhà Bè Compensation and Site Clearance Board, the district has compiled a list of each household’s requirements for compensation. It has also set up a working group led by the secretary of the district Party Committee to work with them.
In the worst scenario, the district would have to “use force” to ask the households to move by the end of October, according to Tùng.
Begun in 2016, the project’s resumed in February last year after being suspended in April, 2018.
Under the project, six tide-control gates at Bến Nghé, Tân Thuận, Phú Xuân, Mương Chuối, Cây Khô and Phú Định, as well as flood control dykes, are being built in districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Bình Chánh and Nhà Bè.
This is the largest and most expensive flood prevention construction project ever planned for HCM City.
Around 1,400 residents have to move to make way for the project.
Representatives of the five districts have handed over the land to the investor. Only Nhà Bè has failed to do so.
Nguyễn Tâm Tiến, CEO of Trung Nam Group, the investor in the first phase of the project, said the project had faced problems in the disbursement of loans and land clearance.
The first phase of the project is 80 per cent complete, he said.
The first phase will help prevent flooding in a 570sq.m central area and along the Sài Gòn River, an area with 6.5 million people. It will also help regulate water levels in city canals, improve local water drainage, and beautify the landscape of nearby areas.
The first phase of the project is expected to be tested by the end of this year so that it can be put into use in early 2021.
The city has spent nearly VNĐ26 trillion ($1.11 billion) worth of public and private funds on flood control projects over the past five years, according to the Department of Construction’s Centre for Technical Infrastructure Management.
Despite great efforts taken by city authorities to tackle flooding, a number of flood-control projects have been delayed due to prolonged site clearance and compensation issues. — VNS