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HCMC has difficulty using underground space
Van Nam
Friday,  Apr 13, 2018,15:03 (GMT+7)

HCMC has difficulty using underground space

Van Nam

An artist’s impression of underground space in downtown HCMC - PHOTO: VAN NAM

HCMC – The government of HCMC has run into stumbling blocks in the process of mapping out a plan to develop underground space in the center of town and Thu Thiem New Urban Area.

Existing underground facilities like electric and telecom cables, drainage systems and water pipelines may screw up any plan to utilize underground space due to their haphazard planning and construction.

At a seminar on underground space in HCMC on April 12, Hoang Tung, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture, told the Daily that the department could complete an underground space development plan by next year.

Underground space in the downtown area will be developed along the metro lines that are underway. The city will have eight metro lines with a total length of 220 kilometers and 10 depots and a total cost of US$25 billion, said Tung.

Underground space will be used for parking, service and commercial activities, thus easing the pressure from chronic traffic congestion and coping with the fast pace of urbanization.

However, many urban infrastructure experts voiced their concern over difficulties in developing underground space, especially in the city center, as the city lacks data on underground works.

Nguyen Van Hiep, former deputy director of the municipal Department of Construction, said the city government had approved construction of a tunnel connecting Vincom A and Vincom B in District 1 but the project had been canceled due to the existence of water pipelines.

Ha Ngoc Truong, an expert in urban development, told the seminar that he and his colleagues had had great difficulty surveying a site managed by as many as 15 agencies.

The lack of data on existing underground works will make it hard to draw up a comprehensive plan to make use of underground space. Therefore, there should be an agency responsible for collecting such data to facilitate management of underground facilities and development of underground space.

After underground space in downtown HCMC and Thu Thiem is successfully developed, the plan would be expanded to other parts of the city, Tung said.

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