HCMC makes concerted effort to eliminate polluted canals

Ho Chi Minh City has been encouraging people not to throw garbage into canals and rivers as well as called for investment in the form of Public Private Partnership (PPP).

A section of Xuyen Tam canal in Binh Thanh District is encroached (Photo: SGGP)

A section of Xuyen Tam canal in Binh Thanh District is encroached (Photo: SGGP)

The city has been also dredging polluted canals to improve drainage. Years ago, residents living along Lang canal in Binh Thanh District had been suffering horrific odors from the canal which caused the inhabitants to hold their breath every time they stepped outside. Garbage affected water flow resulting in smelly canal.
After city authorities cleaned up and upgraded the canal by dredging it, residents there have no longer suffered horrendous odors.
Ong Hoc canal in District 12 suffered the same fate years ago. Throwing litter and encroachment have blocked up water flow; as a result, the canal had a “dead canal” with stench. Cleanup activities have been conducted to bring back a green canal for residents there.
According to the district People’s Committee, the district spent VND42.652 billion (over US$ 1.8 billion) on dredging the 1,200- meter canal.
Additionally, the district spent VND52.557 billion, VND41.011 billion and VND40.863 billion on dredging three other canals including 1,200 – meter Lo Heo - Ong Soi canal; 1,095-meter Cau Cho canal and 1,063-meterRong Moi- Nam Lo respectively.
The district will continue dredging and upgrading 18 remaining canals with total investment of VND800 billion.
During the procedure of dredging and improving canals, site clearance is the most difficult task, according to architect Khuong Van Muoi, former chairman of the city Architecture Association. Accordingly, the district has publicized information of the project and encouraged people to hand over the land for construction. The district has given financial support to help people settling in new place.
However, the city’s limited budget partly prevented the renewal task. Over 10 years ago, city authorities has planned to upgrade 8-kilometer Xuyen Tam canal through Binh Thanh and Go Vap districts which was narrowed by encroachment.
Statistically, around 2,135 houses along the canals were affected by the project with compensation up to VND3,751 billion. The project expenditure would be nearly VND9 trillion including construction cost.
Experts said that the best solution to speed up canal improvement projects is to call for investment in the form of PPP.
As per the municipal People’s Committee, from 2016 to 2018, the city has dredged 81.2 kilometers of canals and residents also contributed to city’s urban renewal program by taking part in dredging nearly 60 kilometers of canals.

By Dung Le - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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