HCM City to clean more of its polluted canals, relocate poor people living along them

February 26, 2021 - 08:29
HCM City plans to clean up more of its canals in 2021-25 and relocate people living in utter poverty along them. 


Families living along the Đôi Canal in HCM City’s District 8 wait for a relocation project proposed to be carried out in 2021-25. Photo thanhnien.vn

HCM CITY — HCM City plans to clean up more of its canals in 2021-25 and relocate people living in utter poverty along them. 

It has set a target of moving out 10,000 families from near canals in Bình Thạnh, Bình Tân, 4, 7, and 8 districts.

Its plans include cleaning the Xuyên Tâm Canal passing through Bình Thạnh and Gò Vấp districts and building an underground drainage system in the Tham Lương and Bến Cát areas.

The works will be funded by both public and private resources.

The canals’ banks will be widened by 20 per cent to attract investment and offer to investors to set up malls and other commercial establishments.

According to the president of the HCM Real Estate Association (HoREA), Lê Hoàng Châu, the investment could be used to develop the banks.

Relocation of the families living along the canals is one of five projects to improve people’s quality of living that the city had drawn up for 2016-20.

It had hoped to move all 21,851 households by 2020 at a cost of VNĐ44 trillion (US$1.9 billion) but only managed to resettle 2,479 of them.  

The biggest hurdle was the lack of funds to pay compensation and build resettlement housing.

Lê Trần Kiên, deputy head of the Department of Construction’s urban development department, said the task had required VNĐ10 trillion but only VNĐ2.1 trillion was available.

The canals targeted for a clean-up are minor and so failed to attract investors.

The city has a solid record in cleaning up canals as evidenced by its successful revival of the Nhiêu Lộc - Thị Nghè and Tân Hóa - Lò Gốm canals.

Trần Vĩnh Nam, an architect, is all praise for the present living conditions along the Tân Hóa - Lò Gốm Canal: “This place used to be too polluted and foul-smelling for any creature to live.

“Now [after its clean-up], property prices along it are rising thanks to a complete transformation.”

The city has also completed various sanitation projects such as improving its drainage system, dredging 81.2km of canals, and cleaning up 60km of canals to improve the environment and people’s quality of life.

In the next few years it plans to clean more canals to prevent floods and improve the environment. VNS