Flood-prone sites in city down 45%
By Van Nam - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Fourteen areas in HCMC no longer suffer from severe and prolonged flooding like the last rainy season, falling 45% against a total of 31 flood-prone sites late last year.
Do Tan Long, head of the drainage unit under the Steering Center of the HCMC Urban Flood Control Program, said the number of flood-prone locations had dropped sharply in downtown districts.
He told the Daily that three major environmental projects in HCMC contributed around 60% to the decline in the flood-prone site number. Such projects are the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal Basin sanitation project, the urban water environment improvement project in Tau Hu-Ben Nghe-Doi Te Canal Basin and the urban upgrade project in Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal Basin.
In addition, since 2011 the urban flood control center has carried out some 20 small-scale anti-flooding projects with over 200 components connected to the city’s drainage system.
However, Long stressed water flow diversion during the execution of certain projects had made several streets vulnerable to flooding again, especially in the Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal Basin rehabilitation project.
Particularly, the streets of Au Co, Bau Cat, Dong Den, Truong Cong Dinh, Hoa Binh and Ba Hoa are now prone to severe flooding again due to diversion at Tan Hoa-Lo Gom project, affecting the people living in districts 11, Tan Phu and Tan Binh.
Long said the HCMC government had requested the municipal departments to tighten control on contractors and firmly deal with diversions that cause flooding. Violating contractors will be forced to suspend project execution in a definite or indefinite time.
Long suggested the city should synchronously implement three types of projects with a respective aim to reduce flooding, prevent re-flooding and prevent new flood-prone sites from emerging. He said the city’s sewer system has deteriorated while new sewer lines are insufficient and have quite small diameters, so it would take at least three more years to completely remedy the flooding situation in the city.