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Massive collapse of electric poles during storm raise suspicions over quality

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HCMC – After hundreds of electric poles were knocked down en masse in Thua Thien-Hue Province during  Tropical Storm Noul, the fifth to hit Vietnam this year, many expressed concerns over the quality of the concrete poles.

The Central Power Corporation (EVNCPC) said in a statement issued on September 22 that 304 electric poles had broken, 169 had fallen and 143 others had been damaged as a result of the storm. Of the 304 broken poles, 34 are prestressed concrete poles and 270 are normal concrete poles, reported Nguoi Lao Dong Online newspaper.

EVNCPC explained that trees falling onto power lines due to the storm had tested the resistance of the structure of the poles, affecting the power line system and damaging the poles. As for the utility poles located outside residential areas, wind gusts and the change of wind direction led to them breaking and falling to the ground.

The power sector of this central locality also admitted that the storm was not strong enough to knock down the utility poles.

In the case of many infrastructure projects, it is nature that can make the fairest appraisal of their quality, even more so than authorized agencies and units. The quality of construction is clearly brought to the fore when it experiences unfavorable weather conditions.

Many localities nationwide reported that their infrastructure systems such as roads, bridges and sewers were frequently damaged during heavy rains or storms, affecting the daily activities of local residents and costing the State budget from billions to trillions of Vietnam dong.

Accordingly, it is necessary to urgently review the construction of public infrastructure projects. For substandard projects, the procedures related to selecting contractors, the capacity and responsibility of units in charge of designing, monitoring and appraising the projects should be reviewed.

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