People struggling with flooded streets in HCM City (Source: petrotimes.vn)
HCM City (VNA) – A flood control and prevention project proposal for downtown HCM City, worth 20 trillion VND (900 million USD), has been rejected by municipal leaders and irrigation experts.

The project, designed by the Environment and Public Target Company (EPT), proposed measures to control the tides causing floods in the city.

At a meeting on June 2 with municipal leaders and irrigation experts, the EPT representative introduced urgent measures to control the unusual tides in the rivers of Dong Nai and Vam Co to reduce flooding in HCM City.

The company suggested building embankment systems on the rivers of Soai Rap, Long Tau and Dong Thanh and a reservoir on the Dong Nai and Vam Co rivers, as well as a water regulation system on the Saigon-Dong Nai-Vam Co rivers to ensure the sustainable development of HCM City in the 2020-2050 period.

The project would have cost 20 trillion VND (900 million USD).

At the meeting, several irrigation experts opposed the project because of its low feasibility.

According to Dr. Pham Sanh, the EPT had only considered the tides, a small part of the flooding situation, but had not considered rainfall and the city’s drainage system.

Meanwhile, the city’s Deputy Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Tran Cong Ly, said, “The flood in the inner city was also related to upstream flooding and the water discharging capacity of the Dau Tieng and Tri An reservoirs.”

Ly said the city should consider the worst case scenario of Dau Tieng Reservoir breaking, causing the city to be inundated quickly.

Pham The Vinh from the Southern Irrigation Institute raised the opinion that building embankments on the rivers should be considered carefully to avoid landslides on the riverbanks.

The company should provide information on the economic impact of the project, Vinh said.

The city should also create a master plan for flood control and prevention, he added.

Municipal Party Committee Secretary Tat Thanh Cang said drawing up anti-flood measures was one of the city administration’s most urgent tasks.

To effectively handle the situation, the city had to review the reality of old and new sewage systems as well as cooperate with neighbouring provinces.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said flooding in the city had been a major concern for the authorities and the people.

The serious flooding incidents of recent years have had a negative impact on the city’s economic development and people’s daily lives, he said. The city needs to immediately introduce a solution for the situation.

“To begin with, the city has built drainage systems and dredged canals to reduce inundation during this rainy season,” Phong said.-VNA