Illustrative photo (Source:VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – The Steering Committee for the Southwest Region has asked the Government to consider increasing investment in the development of inland waterway routes in the region, towards promoting sustainable future development. 

During a conference held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 6, the steering committee required the Ministry of Transport and relevant localities to develop inland waterway routes in conjunction with regional and national planning, in order to optimise overall efficiency. 

Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Nhat underlined the need to enhance the State management of inland waterway transport in the region, saying that the conference offers a chance to review management at relevant agencies and localities.

The dredging of the Hau River will be completed this month, ensuring convenient travel for large vessels within provinces and cities in the southwest and to other regional nations upstream, he said. 

Deputy Head of the steering committee Nguyen Quoc Viet said the region’s existing inland waterway system does not match with its potential, citing the limitations of a number of upgrading and investment projects, and the high rate of waterway accidents. 

According to Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung, the Mekong Delta region has a great number of rivers which can facilite the development of inland waterway transportation. 

However, he also noted that investment, construction and management of the sector still remain limited due to shortages of investment capital. 

The southwest region boasts over 14,826 km of inland waterway. But up to 109 out of 288 overpasses have yet to pass technical requirements and are in need of urgent upgrade. 

Preliminary statistics show that as many as 15 waterway transport co-operatives and 387 enterprises with 1,302 vessels transport about 348.4 million tonnes of cargo and 1.9 billion passenger-km every year .-VNA