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Saigon to Focus Restoration Efforts on 5 Severely Polluted Drainage Canals

The municipal People’s Committee said recently that it would focus on the restoration of five canals that comprise the city’s drainage system.

As contaminated canals outnumber public resources, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has agreed to put the Hy Vong, Xuyen Tam, Binh Thai, Nhay-Ruot Ngua, and Bau Trau canals high on the agenda for cleaning. According to an announcement on the official city website, this decision is based on three criteria, including the canals’ role in water drainage, the presence of nearby residential areas, and the perpetuation of polluting behavior.

Residents’ flagrant encroachment and discharge of sewage have resulted in the degradation of these five important canals. Statistics collected by the People’s Committee reveal that up to 105 manholes and 59 floodgates were intruded upon by houses between 2017 and 2018, whereas littering has become normal. 

“It often takes me a whole day to clean up the canal. Things get worse in downpours, when trash piles up and emptying the canal is virtually impossible,” a sanitation worker told VnExpress.

The city has invested billions of dong in cleanups, yet the growing inflow of money has, paradoxically, come with an increasing outflow of sewage, turning canal pollution into a perennial problem. In an interview with Zing, Vo Van Hoan, vice chairmain of the HCMC People’s Committee, stated that attempts to restore the polluted canals are insufficient. 

“Although we should continue our restoration projects, they really mean nothing if people keep plaguing the canals with pollutants,” he warned.

Troubled by the status quo, the city adiministration, apart from rehabilitating the canals, has lately announced its plan to hold district leaders accountable for residents’ irresponsible practices.

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