Administrative procedures hinder flood control projects hinh anh 1Nguyen Huu Canh street in HCM City’s Binh Thanh district is flooded after heavy rains (VNA File Photo)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Despite great efforts taken by Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities to fight flooding, many flood-control projects have been delayed by administrative procedures.

Residents of certain areas in the city have suffered from floods for decades, especially in the rainy season when roads and houses are flooded at high tide.

One of the city’s seven key economic development programmes in the 2016-2020 period, the flood combating programme has called for investment from the private sector

Investments were mobilised to build a huge pumping system on Nguyen Huu Canh street in Binh Thanh district and to combat high tides caused by climate change.

With an investment of nearly 10 trillion VND (427.6 million USD), construction of the first stage of the project to combat flooding caused by high tides began in June 2016.

The project covered 570 area with a population of 6.5 million on the right bank of the Sai Gon River and the downtown area of the city. Construction was scheduled to last 36 months and end in June next year.

The investors of the project later said construction would be completed in 24 months, and said if the site had been transferred to the investors in due time, site clearance would have been completed by April.

However, on April 27 this year, the investor said construction had been suspended because the city authority had not “signed papers for the bank to provide funds” for the project. Construction was also hindered due to delays in site clearance.

The project, invested in by the Quang Trung Group, includes the huge pump on Nguyen Huu Canh street in Binh Thanh district.

But the project was suspended on August 31 due to “financial problems” facing Quang Trung Group.

According to the Quang Trung Group, the pump has been operating on Nguyen Huu Canh street for two years, but the steering board of HCM City’s flood combating programme has not set rental rates for the pump.

The company’s request to advance funds for operation of the pump has not been met, according to the Quang Trung Group.

Nguyen Tang Cuong, CEO of the Quang Trung Group, said the pump had been used on 30 occasions, helping to control floods on Nguyen Huu Canh street.

The Quang Trung Group had spent several years studying the flooding situation in the area, and had operated the pump in the last two rainy seasons. But the company had no more funds to operate the pump, Cuong added.

At a press meeting last week, Nguyen Tam Tien, CEO of Trung Nam Group, the investor of the project which aims to prevent floods from high tides, said construction of the project had stopped because funding had been suspended since April 27.

The suspension has caused losses of about 17 billion VND to 20 billion VND per month.

Tien said 72 percent of the construction of the project had been completed before suspension.-VNS/VNA