Workers build a water drainage outlet on the right bank of the Sai Gon River in HCM City. Authorities have been asked to speed up such projects to reduce flooding. ï¿½ VNA/VNS Photo Van Khanh
Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, Dua said infrastructure project contractors and managers found responsible for blocking sewage drains during their project implementation would be strictly penalised.
Nguyen Phuoc Thao, director of the HCM City Regulation Centre for Flood Prevention Programme, said flood mitigation in the city was difficult because of the unusual weather, rising tide levels, illegally built houses encroaching on canals and drainage sluices, and ongoing infrastructure projects that block sewage drains in inner city areas.
The contractors had ignored the authorities' demands to unblock the sewage drains, Thao said.
So far this year, 274 blocked sewage drains have been found.
About 230 have been completely unblocked, 12 have been partially unblocked and 28 are still blocked.
Three quarters of Binh Thanh District lies below the peak high tide level and is subject to severe flooding during high tides and heavy rains.
In the district's Thanh Da peninsula, the water level nearly reaches the top of embankments that need to be raised.
Le Thanh Hai, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, ordered investors of flood prevention projects to research measures for consolidating key river embankments in the city to ensure safety and prevent houses being flooded.
Hai told the HCM City People's Committee to ask local and foreign experts to research the future strain that climate change would put on the city's drains.
He also ordered the HCM City Regulation Centre for Flood Prevention Programme and the city's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to research using concrete or PVC plastic posts to build embankments.
Concrete or PVC plastic posts would be more expensive than cajeput stakes, but they would improve the quality of embankments, he said. ï¿½ VNS