Saigon employs private firm to pump water from flood-prone street

By Huu Nguyen   September 22, 2017 | 04:42 pm GMT+7

The system has proven it can cope with high tides, but how will it cope with the city's notorious downpours?

In its latest effort to deal with severe flooding, Ho Chi Minh City has employed a private firm to pump flood water from the city's inundated streets.

Quang Trung Industry Joint Stock Company rolled out its pump on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District on Thursday and started sucking up the 30-40 centimeters that had covered the street.

It took the machine around 20 minutes to clear the street.

The floods on Nguyen Huu Canh were the result of a high tide, and the water was sent back to the Saigon River with the trash filtered out.

It was the second time the company's pump has been tested this week.

Nguyen Tang Cuong, a representative from Quang Trung Industry, said the machine cost VND88 billion ($3.87 million) and is now ready to be deployed any time it floods.

Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, deputy director of the city’s Steering Center for the Urban Flood Control Program, said the second test had shown satisfactory results.

However, he said the efficiency of the system remains to be seen as it had only dealt with floods caused by high tides when the Saigon River was low, and had yet to deal with floods triggered by heavy downpours.

The Quang Trung Industry project came into reality after the city approved a proposal and granted an area of 400 square meters in Binh Thanh District near the river for the firm to set up its pump.

Nguyen Huu Canh was chosen as it is one of the most flood-prone streets in the city due to either heavy rains or high tides.

In its proposal, the investor said it will not take payment from the city if it is unable to clear the street during flooding.

If the pump causes the street to subside, the company will cover all costs.

HCMC is vulnerable to flooding, and many of its streets are transformed into small rivers almost every time it pours or the tide rises.

According to local media, the city needs up to VND97.3 trillion ($4.38 billion) for flood prevention projects by 2020.

 
 
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