Hanoi will install new underground drainage systems in 44 streets in seven inner-city districts from now till the end of next year, said Pham Van Cuong, director of the Hanoi Drainage Project Management Board.

The project, with total investment of 400 billion VND (19 million USD), will cover Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, Thanh Xuan, Dong Da, Hoang Mai and Cau Giay districts.

"Most of the sewers in these districts were built 60-80 years ago, so they have deteriorated and no longer meet demand for drainage, especially when it rains heavily," said Cuong.

The new sewers will be more than 1m in width and height. Lo Duc Street , which can channel water into the Kim Nguu River , will have an even larger sewer 2.6m in width and 2.3m in height. The sewer system will have a total length of more than 21km.

On 29 streets that are narrow, workers would be assigned to work from 10pm to 5pm to ensure minimal disruption to traffic. On 15 streets that are wide enough for work during the day time, construction sites will be surrounded by corrugated iron barriers to ensure residents' safety, said Cuong.

It is expected that the drainage system in 21 streets will be completed this year, and work on the remaining 23 streets will be completed next year.

"The most complicated part of the work is installing the sewers on Lo Duc street because the sewers are so big it will affect traffic there," said Cuong.

The management board is discussing plans to ensure traffic flow during construction work with the municipal departments of Transport and Police.

Work on Lo Duc street is scheduled for October next year.

The city's old sewage system is being strained as the city's population increases. The city's current sewage system can only handle up to 50mm of rainfall per day, but during the wet season the city can experience rainfall of 150mm per day.

There were 21 flooding ‘hot spots' in the inner city, said Cuong.-VNA