Vietnam metro authorities accept blame for sinkholes

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The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee will take responsibility for sinkholes that have haunted the city's streets recently, VnExpress quoted a local official as saying Tuesday.


In an interview with the news website, Nguyen Thanh Tai, vice chairman of the committee, said there were various causes for the sinkholes, including excessive exploitation of underground water, the city's weak soil, and degrading infrastructure.


Another reason was shoddy work of covering or repaving streets after completing construction works on the street, Tai said.


However, due to shortcomings in management, authorities were having difficulties in identifying the correct culprit, Tai said.


"The People's Committee will take the main responsibility for allowing sinkholes to happen," he told the news source.


Asked about solutions, Tai said related agencies need to act as soon as sinkholes are reported, and be present at the site to prevent accidents.


To restrict the formation of sinkholes caused by floods, the city needs to dredge its system of ditches and canals and build new drainage systems.


The city administration will propose that the government and related ministries allow it to dismiss contractors doing shoddy jobs and ban them from conducting other works later, he stressed.


"If people are trapped by sinkholes, they have right to file lawsuits asking for compensation," he told VnExpress.


Tai said that for long term solutions, they will launch various studies, including a seminar on street depressions next January.


The website reported that 57 sinkholes were recorded in the southern metro between July 15 and December 6.


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