HCM City to clean up canals hinh anh 1Tourist boats on Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)Ho Chi Minh City will spend 29 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD) for anti-flooding and canal dredging, works and cleaning up its highly polluted canal network.

The money will come from the first quarter public investment plan, which was recently announced by the authorities.

The People’s Committee instructs all related authorities, including departments and district People’s Committees, to fully focus on this task to mitigate the severe pollution in the city’s canal system, said Tran Vinh Tuyen.

Most canals are covered in rubbish and their water is often black and foul, making them look like sewers rather than canals.

Locals have been living amidst this for years, suffering from diseases and facing a lot of other difficulties.

Tuyen has set a deadline on July 31. “All related authorities and investors must sign a commitment that by the end of July at least 50 percent of the [earmarked amount] must be disbursed and if any office does not achieve the goal, the leader will be penalised,” he said.

He also warned that district people’s committees, departments and agencies managing public works should not tell contractors to begin the work until all the pre-work procedures are completed to avoid debts.

The People’s Committee has also ordered the city Steering Centre of The urban Flood Control Programme, which will manage the programme, to cement the bottoms and banks of major canals such as the Trung Uong canal in Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh districts, improve the water quality in the Tan Hoa – Lo Gom Canal, renovate the sewerage system in Ba Van street, widen the Lang The Canal in Cu Chi district, and strengthen the dyke along the Sai Gon River in districts 12, Hoc Mon, and Go Vap.

According to the latest tests by the Department of Natural Resource and Environment, the water in the city’s canals is severely polluted will all pollution figures far above permitted levels.

Dealing with this kind of pollution is one of the key tasks of the city to ensure a healthy life for its millions of citizes.-VNA