HCM City plans to give urgent priority to prevent riverbank erosion, according to deputy chairman of the city People's Committee Le Minh Tri.

The People's Committee will work with government agencies to devise appropriate erosion-prevention projects, Tri said.

Tri and other city officials on Sept. 24 inspected landslide-prone areas at the Thanh Da Canal in Binh Thanh district, Rach Doi River in Nha Be district and Xom Cui Canal in Binh Chanh district.

He also asked the Department of Transport to work with agencies to set up a project to build embankments along Xom Cui Canal in Binh Hung Commune's Hamlet 4 in Binh Chanh District.

On July 1, bank erosion occurred at Xom Cui Canal in Binh Hung Commune's Hamlet 4, causing seven houses to fall into the river. Ten houses were severely damaged.

The city has 50 riverbank areas facing a high risk of landslides, with a total length of more than 30km in Districts 2, 9, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Nha Be and Binh Chanh.

However, the city's People Committee has allocated capital to three of eight urgent projects to prevent riverbank erosions, according to the city's Department of Transport.

The project to build embankments to prevent riverbank erosion at the Thanh Da Canal, which begun in 2007, has been implemented slowly because of slow land clearance and lack of capital, according to the Binh Thanh People's Committee.

Only one of the Thanh Da project's four embankment sections has been finished. One section is under construction and is expected to be completed in November.

Land clearance has not been completed for the remaining two embankment sections, and capital for construction has not been allocated.

Phan Cong Bang, head of the city Department of Transport's Waterway Management Division, the investor of the Thanh Da embankment project, said if the city allocates capital for two embankment sections and if Binh Thanh completes land clearance, his division will immediately carry out bidding for the construction of the remaining two sections.

The construction period will be about nine months, Bang said. Similarly, a project to prevent landslides at Rach Doi River was supposed to begin in 2009, but capital has not been allocated./.