HCMC completes 1st stage of major canal facelift

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The Thi Nghe - Nhieu Loc Canal in Ho Chi Minh City

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City said Saturday that the first stage of work to improve a major canal that had been severely polluted has been completed.

The Nhieu Loc Thi Nghe Canal Basin improvement project, which began almost 20 years ago, has seen the construction of nine kilometers of drainage, 18 kilometers of dyke, and dozens of other works related to waste management.

Funded since 2000 by World Bank loans, it has so far cost VND8.6 trillion (US$412.47 million).

Waste discharged by some 1.6 million people living along its basin are no longer dumped into the canal but is treated before being discharged into the Saigon River.

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Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Streets along the canal have also got a major facelift at a cost of over VND554 billion ($26.6 million) and will be open to traffic this month end.

The project's second stage is now in progress with another World Bank loan, worth $450 million. The drainage system will be enlarged and a waste-treatment plant with a capacity of 480,000 cubic meters per day will be built.

The canal's basin, which spreads over 33 square kilometers in seven districts including downtown districts like 1 and 3, was notorious for its pollution.

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