Tan Son Nhat airport requires extra $63 mln toward flood control

By Gia Minh   March 29, 2021 | 11:30 pm PT
Tan Son Nhat airport requires extra $63 mln toward flood control
A section of the Hy Vong Canal in HCMC's Tan Binh District fills up with garbage, March 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Work to upgrade a drainage canal outside Tan Son Nhat International Airport will cost VND1.46 trillion ($63.28 million) more, with completion delayed by three years.

Hy Vong Canal, which cuts 1.8 kilometers (1.12 miles) across Tan Binh District to the city's northwest, will be dredged and upgraded at a total cost of VND1.98 trillion ($85.6 million), about VND1.46 trillion higher or nearly four times the sum estimated last year.

The additional investment is due to the higher cost of site clearance, the Urban Infrastructure Construction Investment Projects Management Unit stated in a plan submitted to the Department of Construction.

The cost for clearing the site and compensating affected households was originally estimated at more than VND287 billion, and yet recent calculation has raised the sum to over VND1.595 trillion to clear a total area of 21,200 square meters.

Aside from raising the investment cost, the unit also proposed to extend the completion date for the entire canal upgrade to 2025 instead of next year.

The unit, which is also the investor, said the project would upgrade a section of more than 1.1 kilometers along Hy Vong Canal, establish 55 drains to collect water, and build nine sluices and culverts. Along the two banks, the project would erect two six-meter wide roads with sidewalks and drainage systems aside from lighting and railings.

The Hy Vong Canal upgrade project was first approved in 2013. Back then, it belonged to a master plan called HCMC Regional Flood Risk Management invested by the local Urban Flood Control Steering Center using World Bank (WB) loans.

Yet the WB stopped providing loans in 2017 and the canal upgrade has been put on hold ever since, awaiting new sources of funding.

It is not clear when the project was handed over to the Urban Infrastructure Construction Investment Projects Management Unit, but after a three-year pause, the city last year had assigned the new investor to coordinate with Tan Binh District to invest in the canal upgrade using the city’s budget.

Hy Vong, along with A41 and Nhat Ban, are the three drainage canals for Tan Son Nhat airport.

For years, residents have been clogging the canals with garbage, resulting in flooding during heavy rains.

Tan Son Nhat is a frequent victim of flooding. In 2015, heavy rains flooded several parts of the airport, with water rising to as high as 20 centimeters, threatening to compromise the airport’s power generators, and prompting employees to barricade the area with sand bags.

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