Notorious Hanoi water pipeline breaks again, for the 20th time

By Toan Dao   October 4, 2016 | 07:09 pm PT
Notorious Hanoi water pipeline breaks again, for the 20th time
Workers repairing the pipeline during a rupture. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
The unreliable system affects supply to  thousands of families in Hanoi.

The Da River pipeline ruptured again early this week, affecting supply to a number of neighborhoods in Hanoi.

The utility company Hanoi Water said in a notice on its website that supply to the Northern Thang Long Industrial Park and four communes in Dong Anh District will be reduced until Thursday.

Residents in Thanh Xuan District were told on early Monday to store and save water because of the rupture, even though the district was not even included in Hanoi Water’s notice.

This is the 20th time that the line, which cost $70 million, has broken since it was put into use in 2009.

The latest rupture was on September 14, when around 70,000 households in the city were cut off from water.

Vinaconex, the state-owned construction company responsible for the project, has been critcized for using substandard pipes purchased from a Chinese contractor.

A police investigation revealed that 13 Vinaconex executives had violated construction and investment regulations. Criminal charges were later dropped against five of them because they were first-time offenders with good personal records. The rest are awaiting trial.

The first phase of the project is supplying 300,000 cubic meters of water every day. The second phase, kicked off a year ago, will double the total capacity to 600,000 cubic meters.

In August this year, Vinaconex backed out of a deal to use pipes from another Chinese company to fix the unreliable system in Hanoi, amid concerns over the quality of the replacement.

According to local media, Xinxing Pipes International Development Company was first named the supplier of ductile iron pipes for the project in March, beating out 20 other companies by setting its price at $26.3 million, 12 percent less than the cost estimate.

But Vinaconex decided to cancel the deal following intense criticism of the plan.

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