HCMC sewers, road damaged after torrential rain despite $9M anti-flooding project

By Gia Minh   May 16, 2024 | 02:17 am PT
HCMC sewers, road damaged after torrential rain despite $9M anti-flooding project
Water spouts from a manhole near Thu Duc market, HCMC, amid heavy rain on May 15, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Ha Giang
Several sewers on HCMC's Vo Van Ngan Street and its sections were damaged amid heavy rain Wednesday evening, despite an anti-flooding project having been launched in the area three weeks ago.

Following the torrential three-hour rain, water began to flow out from the alleys and onto Vo Van Ngan Street, pooling towards the Thu Duc market at the end of the route, rendering the area 0.5 m underwater.

At a roundabout that leads to the market, a patch of the road spanning 10 square meters cracked, while water spouted out of several sewers invading people's houses.

Strong water flows also caused several people to fall off their motorbikes and jammed traffic for hours.

The flooded area is located within a sewer system of Vo Van Ngan Street that costs over VND248 billion ($9.75 million) and has just been launched a month ago.

However, certain vendors at the Thu Duc market said the rain on Wednesday evening had caused severe inundations in the area, with water levels even higher than in previous years.

"The water overflowed from the manholes, bringing with it mud and garbage into the vendors' stores, causing all business to stop from the afternoon until night," said Phuong, a vendor at Thu Duc market as he cleaned up on Thursday.

The rain on Wednesday evening was the largest seen in HCMC this year.

In Thu Duc City, the highest rain level was recorded on Duong Van Cam Street at 122 mm. 16 routes in the city were flooded, according to local authorities.

Tran Nhan, operating director of the Vo Van Ngan water drainage project under the management board for investment and construction projects in Thu Duc City, said long-lasting rain caused water to continuously flow onto Vo Van Ngan Street. As the water pooled in lower areas, particularly Thu Duc market, it could not be drained away quickly enough.

Nhan said before the project went online, the sewer systems along Vo Van Ngan were small, meaning water could not be drained away quickly.

When the project is completed, a wider sewer system means water would pool towards the market area faster.

Meanwhile, the main route for water drainage for the area, the Cau Ngan canal, has already been overloaded as it has not been coordinated with the water drainage system.

All these factors caused inundations in the area Wednesday evening, he said.

Nhan said contractors of the project have been requested to check for problems with the project and to deal with them.

The Vo Van Ngan water drainage project was first constructed by the Anh Vinh Company.

While the company has been the contractor of several infrastructure projects in HCMC, certain projects have been slow in progress, affecting the effectiveness of investments and upsetting communities.

The company eventually had its contract for the construction of the Vo Van Ngan project ended, and was replaced by the Thinh Phat investment and construction company, which finished the project.

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