Vietnam capital needs over $1 bln to address flooding problem

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The city government of Hanoi on Wednesday said it needs around VND21.5 trillion (more than US$1 billion) to develop a drainage system by 2020 that would keep its roads from flooding in every downpour.

Nguyen Van Khoi, vice chairman of the capital city People's Committee, said at the meeting with Hanoi's legislative unit that local drains can only handle 86 millimeters of rainfall each day, Tuoi Tre reported Wednesday.

He said the investment is needed to build an automatic drainage system in which water is circulated into designated reservoirs before reaching rivers.

The system would hypothetically enable downtown streets like Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung and Hoang Mai withstand 310 mm of rainfall over a two day period.

But a longer-term project which would not be completed until 2030, with estimated costs in excess of VND116.4 trillion ($5.6 billion), would be able to handle both rainwater and sewage drainage, he said.

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"The investment needed is very big, thus the city needs to raise money from private sources, official development assistance and government bonds."

He also suggested the city to make companies pay for sewage discharge services, at around VND1,500 a cubic meter in 2015 and VND12,200 by 2020.

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