HCMC to employ pumps at severe flooding points

By Le Tuyet   May 24, 2024 | 10:30 pm PT
HCMC to employ pumps at severe flooding points
A woman tries to remove garbage covering a manhole on To Ngoc Van Street in Thu Duc City to drain floodwaters under the rain on May 20, 2024. VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Ho Chi Minh City will mobilize pumps to address severe flooding in the downtown area, according to the city's Department of Construction.

Pham Cong Do, deputy director of the Drainage Infrastructure Management Department, Technical Infrastructure Management Center under the department, said the center would organize teams on standby to mobilize pumps and equipment to promptly address severe flooding points arising in the downtown area.

The unit will monitor tide levels and assign forces to be on duty around the clock at pump stations (both fixed and mobile) and tide control culverts to handle situations timely, Do told a city meeting on Thursday.

He added that the center would focus on dredging the drainage system on roads that frequently experience flooding due to heavy rains and high tides.

Manholes that are sunken, missing covers, misaligned, or damaged will be inspected, repaired, or replaced to ensure traffic safety.

The center will also check and review the city's street trees and parks to cut down, replant, or replace trees that are diseased, old, or likely to fall, he said.

At the beginning of this month, the Department of Construction announced that the city had 18 flooding points on main roads due to heavy rains and high tides.

Among them, roads like Phan Anh, Le Duc Tho, Quang Trung, Nguyen Van Khoi (Cay Tram), Ho Hoc Lam, National Highway 1, Dang Thi Ranh, Duong Van Cam, Kha Van Can, Bach Dang, Thao Dien, Quoc Huong, and Nguyen Van Huong will flood due to heavy rains.

Roads such as Huynh Tan Phat, Tran Xuan Soan, Le Van Luong, Dao Su Tich, and National Highway 50 will flood due to high tides.

HCMC and the southern region have just entered the rainy season, but the city already recorded many roads submerged up to the wheel rims, including some roads in Thu Duc City such as Vo Van Ngan, La Xuan Oai, To Ngoc Van and Duong Van Cam.

Notably, several sewers on Vo Van Ngan Street and its sections were damaged amid heavy rain in mid-May, despite an anti-flooding project that costs over VND248 billion ($9.75 million) having been launched in the area three weeks before that.

HCMC once used pumps to prevent flooding on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District.

This was carried out by Quang Trung Industrial Group, contracted from 2017 to 2023, but the city terminated the contract ahead of schedule as the road was upgraded and no longer flooded.

The cost of flood prevention using pumps was VND14.2 billion (US$555,600) per year. When the contract was terminated early, the business proposed transferring the pumps to other locations to reduce damage, but the plan has not been implemented.

Urban flooding has been an issue in HCMC for years, posing significant challenges to its infrastructure and the lives of residents.

Despite numerous efforts and investments, including the deployment of advanced drainage systems and extensive flood prevention measures, the city continues to grapple with severe water-logging problems.

These issues are particularly exacerbated during the rainy season when heavy downpours frequently overwhelm the existing drainage, leading to widespread flooding across various districts.

The situation is complicated by factors such as rapid urbanization, inadequate waste management which clogs drainage channels, and the geographical low-lying areas prone to tidal effects.

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