HCMC considers water drainage charge

By Huu Cong   August 14, 2020 | 12:09 am PT
HCMC considers water drainage charge
Workers inside a sewer built to lead wastewater from Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal to a treatment plant, April, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC Construction Department has proposed an added fee for each cubic meter of clean water to ease financial strain and fund drainage system management.

The department tabled the initial fee of VND1,430 (6 U.S. cents) per cubic meter of clean water for 2020, excluding value added tax, for the 2020-2024 period Wednesday.

The price will be raised annually to VND4,437 by 2024, and cover all households, businesses and organizations discarding wastewater into the city's drainage system. Those paying the water drainage fee will be freed from the environmental protection equivalent, set at 10 percent of the clean water price.

For now, households in HCMC are paying VND6,000 per cubic meter of clean water with each member using up to four cubic meters per month. The cost is VND11,500 for using four-six cubic meters per month and VND12,800 for more than six cubic meters.

Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco), the city's main water supplier, will collect the fee as added to the water invoice each month.

Those not using water provided by Sawaco will not be required to pay the water draining service fee but will be charged for environmental protection in line with Vietnamese regulations.

Of the extra funds collected, 1 percent will be used by Sawaco to cover production costs while the rest will enter the city’s budget toward maintaining and upgrading the water drainage system.

Currently, the city’s water drainage system is managed by Technical Infrastructure Management Center under the construction department.

Vu Van Diep, center director, told a recent meeting the city had spent nearly VND26 trillion ($1.12 billion) on flood prevention.

As planned, the city’s drainage system is expected to expand to nearly 2,100 square kilometers, thrice bigger than originally planned to address the widespread local flooding issue.

Renovation of the city’s drainage system by 2030 with the vision to 2050 to address floods will be expanded to cover 23 districts, except Can Gio. About 20 years ago, the plan focused only on 650 square kilometers, which covers 32 percent of the inner city and surrounding areas.

For years, the city residents have been struggling with flooding anytime there's a heavy downpour or the tides rise.

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