Ho Chi Minh City proposes $356 million anti-flooding dyke project

canal, Ho Chi Minh City, sewage

The southern economic hub is mulling an VND8.2 trillion (US$356 million) investment for the renovation of Tham Luong – Ben Can – Rach Nuoc Len Canal to improve flooding situation in the upcoming rainy season.

Urban Infrastructure Construction Investment Project Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City has proposed the implementation of the project, which involves infrastructure building and environment quality enhancement for the Tham Luong – Ben Can – Rach Nuoc Len Canal area, a key waterway that connects Ho Chi Minh City to other provinces of southern Vietnam.

The project includes the construction of a concrete dyke of 32.7 kilometer long, dredging of the canal bed, renovation of sewer gates that discharge into the canal, construction of 12 docking areas for boats, as well as construction of roads along the two banks.

The project is expected to improve the outlook of the urban area, plus boosting life quality for over two million people living in an area of 15,000 hectares along the canal.

It will also help mitigate inundation for seven districts of Ho Chi Minh City, including Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Go Vap, Binh Thanh, Binh Chanh Districts, as well as District 12.

The management authority revealed that a sum of VND6.4 trillion ($277 million) is allocated for the construction, while the remainder will be spent on compensation and other expenses.

The VND8.2 trillion fund will be disbursed over five years from 2021 to 2015, with central budget chipping in VND4 trillion ($174 million), while the rest is covered by the city’s public budget.

In their request to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction, the urban infrastructure authority asked to be appointed as the lead investor of the project.

They also urged the municipal People’s Committee and the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee to support the approval for the project from the People’s Council in a meeting in late April.

canal, Ho Chi Minh City, sewage
Tham Luong Canal in Ho Chi Minh City is heavily polluted. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The renovation of Tham Luong – Ben Can – Rach Nuoc Len Canal is part of the Ho Chi Minh City Flood Risk Management Project, an initiative benefited from financial backing of the World Bank until 2017 and has faced struggles to find alternative funds since.

The first phase of the project, which includes canal bed dredging and land compensation, was completed.

As witnessed by a correspondent of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday, the section of Tham Luong Canal in District 12 was severely polluted, with water turned black, garbage floating and pungent odor exuding.

The pollution continued as the correspondent went down the canal to Ward 13 of Go Vap District.

According to locals, more garbage will emerge during the rainy season, which serves as the breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“We are counting days to when the canal is dredged, which will help improve the environment and get us better air quality,” said Bui Kim Cuong, a 53-year-old resident of Ward 13 in Go Vap District.

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