Ho Chi Minh City may spend $62 million on mobile pumps to fight flooding

By Dinh Muoi, Thanh Nien News

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An undated photo of motorbikes moving on a flooded street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh An undated photo of motorbikes moving on a flooded street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh


In its latest effort to fight worsening flooding, Ho Chi Minh City has come up with a plan to invest VND1.4-trillion (US$61.9 million) in a response team with mobile pumps.
Speaking to Thanh Nien on Friday, a representative of the city's management center for anti-flooding programs, said it has submitted the proposal to the People's Committee. If approved, it will be implemented over the next three years.
Most of the cost will be spent on 63 mobile flood pumps, and on building a parking lot and a control center, the representative said. Each pump can handle 20-60 cubic meters of water per minute and the water will be dumped to the nearest canals and sewers.
The pumps will be used for 30 flood prone streets to assist the city's inadequate drain system, according to the representative.
The plan, like many previous initiatives the city proposed to tackle flooding issues, has raised quite a few eyebrows.
Pham Sanh, a respected expert in urban planning, doubted the costly plan will be effective against the city's flooding problems, given that the center has already invested a lot in improving its existing pumping system, with only limited success.
The main cause of flooding is that the city's sewers are too small, so it should use its resources to deal with that problem, he said.
Le Thanh Cong, director of Ho Chi Minh City-based consultancy company about sewage D&C, agreed, suggesting the city turn its canals into reservoirs.
With a length of 9.3 kilometers and an average width of 38 meters, the Nhieu Loc Canal, for instance, can help the city store 1.2 cubic meters of water, if it is dredged to be four meters deeper, compared to its current depth of five meters, he said.
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, which has been hit by serious floods in recent years, reportedly plan to earmark more than VND156 trillion ($6.85 billion) for anti-flooding projects over the next five years.

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