7 more face criminal charges over Hanoi's water pipe ruptures

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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In this file photo, workers fix a rupture at a main water pipe in Hanoi. Photo: Le Quan
Police have started investigating seven more executives of a state-owned company in charge of building and managing a main water pipe in Hanoi, after the system ruptured 10 times in the past three years.
All the suspects from Vinaconex Corporation now face charges of "violating construction regulations, causing serious consequences," a source told Thanh Nien on Tuesday.
In May police arrested two managers of the company on similar charges.
Vinaconex was tasked with building and managing the 47-kilometer long pipeline to bring clean water from Da River Water Factory in the northern province of Hoa Binh to around 70,000 families in six Hanoi districts.
A total of VND1.5 trillion (US$70.3 million) from the state budget was spent on the work, which went into operation in 2008.
In February 2012, the pipeline broke for the first time, followed by nine more times -- the last rupture reported on January 15 this year.
It was estimated that nearly 1.3 million cubic meters of water had been lost. The cost to repair the pipe alone has reached VND9.3 billion ($419,400) in total.
Vinaconex first blamed the ruptures on "the weak ground."
However, police's findings so far suggested that the pipes are of poor quality and not able to sustain the water flow pressure. The pipeline has been designed to supply 300,000 cubic meters a day.

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