The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and a local construction firm broke ground on the first phase of a tidal flood control project on Sunday.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Trung Nam Construction Investment Corporation (Trungnam Group), the main investor, said that the project’s total investment is nearly VND10 trillion (US$448.4 million).
The project, which is financed in the BT (build-transfer) model, is aimed at controlling flooding caused by tide in a 570 square kilometer area that houses around 6.5 million residents in the city center and along the Saigon River, the investor said.
The BT model is a financing approach in which the investor will use their own capital for construction, and be paid later by the city with money and land.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, said that this is the largest anti-flooding project utilizing state-of-the-art technology in the city so far.
The construction will include six major tidal gates, seven kilometers of embankment along a section of the Saigon River from the Vam Thuat River to the Kinh River, 68 small drainage systems, and pumping stations with a capacity of 12-24 cubic meters of water per second.
The project will also feature supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) centers in District 1, District 4, District 7, District 8, Binh Chanh District, and Nha Be District.
Trung Nam Group said that there were 324 households to be relocated for the construction, each requiring compensation and support for resettlement.
The project will be expedited to accomplish its goal within two years instead of three years as planned, Nguyen Tam Tien, director of Trung Nam Group, said.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the project is significant in terms of size and benefit.
“Making a big impact on the quality of life of citizens, as well as the city’s development, is the most significant part of the project,” he noted.
“Being clear of corruption and scandals is the optimal principle required to carry out such a project,” the prime minister emphasized.