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Sunday, June 16, 2024

HCMC seeks approval for VND1.8 trillion loan to flood control project

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC has petitioned the Prime Minister for authorization to facilitate a contractor’s access to a VND1.8 trillion loan from the city budget to restart the long-stalled VND10-trillion flood tide control project.

Phan Van Mai, chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, said during a meeting on May 6 that the project had been put on hold since October 2023 due to a funding shortfall.

The delay stems from the unavailability of banks and other lenders, making it hard to secure loans or issue bonds for the project.

The contractor has requested the city to settle the completed work volume, for which HCMC has allocated VND5 trillion in 2023 and VND6.8 trillion in 2024. However, no funds have been disbursed due to legal complications.

“The contractor expects construction to resume within two months and be completed in six months if the funding mechanism is approved, as access to these funds would allow them to resume construction work,” Mai said.

In the first phase of the project, the developer focused on building six large sluice gates as well as embankments, drains and three pumping stations.

Invested in by Trung Nam Group, the project was designed to curb flood tides on a basin area of 570 sq.km along the banks of the Saigon River that is home to 6.5 million people.

The project will build a dyke section along the Saigon River from the Vam Thuat River to the Kinh River, and 25 small sluices from the Vam Thuat River to the Muong Chuoi River.

Construction kicked off in 2016 with a targeted completion date of 2018, which was later extended to 2020. The project was postponed in August 2020 due to difficulties securing funding and site clearance.

In March 2023, the project was restarted, and the developer said the project would be completed in 2024 if funding hurdles were addressed.

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