HCMC to suffer road excavation for 3 years for canal cleanup

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Ho Chi Minh City has been spending big money cleaning up its canal system. Photo credit: Sai Gon Giai Phong Ho Chi Minh City has been spending big money cleaning up its canal system. Photo credit: Sai Gon Giai Phong

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Nearly 35 kilometers of roads in Ho Chi Minh City will be dug up starting this month as part of a canal cleanup project.
According to the plan announced by the city’s Urban Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority (UCCI), travelers in the already usually jammed city should be prepared for street fences to come up again on 25 streets in Districts 4, 5 and 8.
Hong Nguyen Phi Anh, in charge of water environment management at UCCI, told Tuoi Tre newspaper the construction is to connect all drains to one main pipe that runs to a wastewater treatment plant in Binh Chanh District to the west of the city.
Anh said the work will help clean four canals Ben Nghe, Tau Hu, Doi and Te.
The US$500-million cleanup project, which uses the city budget and loans from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, started in 2004.
Anh said the street digging will take three years and two contractors from Japan and South Korea will be in charge.
He said the contractors are going to use modern technologies at some streets including Nguyen Tat Thanh and Ben Van Don to minimize the digging area to avoid severe traffic jams.
The digging will take turns between the 25 roads and will not be carried out all at once, he said.
Ho Chi Minh City has spent a decade reviving its downtown canal Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe in 2012 using $248 million worth of loans from the World Bank and $68 million from local budget.
The eight-kilometer canal now no longer smells or looks so bad and is even hosting a popular boat tour.
In December 2014, the international lender approved another $450 million worth of loans for the second phase of the project, which will reroute untreated wastewater currently flowing into the Saigon River to a treatment plant in District 2.

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