Commuters wade in a flooded street in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Construction of a major flood-prevention project in HCM City will now last 24 months instead of 36 months as previously approved by the city People’s Committee.

Nguyen Tam Tien, General Director of the Trung Nam Investment, Construction Joint-Stock Co, said that the project would affect the living standards of residents in Districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Nha Be and Binh Chanh.

The project is expected to control flooding and the effects of climate change in the downtown area of 570 sq km, where 6.5 million people live, according to HCM City’s Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme (SCFC).

Tien said the construction firm, Trung Nam Group, would work with authorities to settle compensation for site clearance and resettlement of households affected by the project.

Trung Nam is expected to complete the project within three years under a build-transfer (BT) contract.

The developer will handle construction work at its own expense in exchange for land rights in the city for other projects.

With charter capital of 2 trillion VND, Trung Nam will take out loans from BIDV to fund the project. An agreement the HCM City authority and Trung Nam Group was signed on June 3.

Under the contract, the HCM City People’s Committee will pay the Trung Nam Group 16 percent of the project’s value in land and 84 percent in cash.

The project will use ODA (official development assistance) loans from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and available funds from the city’s budget, the SCFC said.

Under the project, six culverts with a width of 40-160 metres and an embankment of nearly 7.8-kilometres will be built on and along the Sai Gon River.

Three pumping stations with a capacity of 12-48 cubic metres per second and 25 small drains will also be built, according to figures from the city’s authority.

Sluices and tidal control water locks will be installed on the Nuoc Len Canal and Vam Thuat River.

In addition, 32.7 kilometres of dams will be built in Tham Luong, Ben Cat, and Nuoc Len canals, along with nine kilometres of drainage systems in Go Vap district.

Water channels in Tan Binh and Go Vap districts will also be upgraded.

The project requires total investment of 9.57 trillion VND (429 million USD), with 8.761 trillion VND (392.7 million USD) coming from ODA and the rest from the city’s budget, according to SCFC.

Tien said construction would not affect land transport, but would have some impact, although insignificant, on waterway transport in some river sections.

At a recent meeting, HCM City authorities announced that it would earmark more than 156 trillion VND (6.85 billion USD) for anti-flooding projects over the next five years.-VNA