Hanoi rushes to build backup water line amid supply shortage

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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An undated photo shows workers repairing Hanoi's pipe which supplies water for around 70,000 families in downtown areas, after a rupture. Photo: LQ An undated photo shows workers repairing Hanoi's pipe which supplies water for around 70,000 families in downtown areas, after a rupture. Photo: LQ

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Hanoi is seeking permission to build a so-called emergency water pipe using its own budget in an effort to solve a persistent water shortage that has plagued the city since 2012. 
The proposal came as state-owned Vinaconex Corp. kept delaying the construction of a new VND1.2-trillion ($52.57 million) pipe as a backup supply for the one that has ruptured at least 15 times since February 2012. 
Around 70,000 families in downtown areas depend on that water line. 
Hanoi said its emergency line will cost VND864 billion (US$37.85 million) and can supply up to 70,000 cubic meters of water a day.
Vinaconex is in charge of building and managing the existing unreliable water pipe, which starts at Da River Water Factory in the northern province of Hoa Binh.
Following the pipe's numerous breaks, investigators with the Ministry of Public Security arrested nine executives of Vinaconex this year. Their initial findings suggested that the pipe's quality was too poor to sustain the water flow pressure.
Launched in 2009, the VND1.5-trillion ($65.72 million) pipe is designed to provide 300,000 cubic meters a day.

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