Illegal Land Reclamation of Canals in HCMC

The frequency of illegal land reclamation of HCMC’s rivers and canals has been increasing with the number of large-scale construction plans that are going ahead.

Many buildings have emerged on the river bank in District 2

There are 700 canals 1,000 kilometers in length that act as the drainage systems for HCMC’s rainwater. However, during the current age of rapid development, many canals have been almost filled due to the need for more land for residential property around the Tan Hoa, Ba Lai, Binh Tien and Ba Bo canals. One of the most seriously affected has been the Ong Kich Canal in District 7, which is now 40,000 square meters smaller due to the building projects of the Phu My Hung Joint-Venture Company.

In the Go Vap District, over 700 cases of land reclamation have resulted in the loss of 11 hectares of canal.

According to an officer from the Department of Transport and Construction, the construction of 30,000 new houses built illegally on land reclaimed on both sides of the river/canals in HCMC has narrowed or nearly blocked the waterways.

The General Corporation of the Sai Gon Tourist Company are continuing to reclaim land even after they have already reclaimed over 1,700 square meters of river in the creation of the Tan Cang Tourist Area and 4,418 square meters of canals in the building of the Van Thanh Tourist Area.

The main rivers in HCMC have been illegally reclaimed by individuals, government companies, and joint-venture companies, who are all doing so to fulfill large-scale construction projects.

The Four River Control Station reported that the Ham Long Artisan Joint-Stock Company has encroached upon a section of the Sai Gon River in District 2 by building a two-hundred-meter-long embankment, 4 to 5 meters wide along one side of the river.

Also in District 2, in Thao Dien Ward, the Hai Vuong Company has built an embankment between 5 and 15 meters in length on either side of the Sai Gon River.

Residents of the Binh An Ward reported the Thu Duc Housing Development Company to the authorities, for their project that involved the building of a villa on land reclaimed from the Sai Gon River.

Mr. Nguyen Van Thach, Head of the Quarter 1 section of river in the Binh An Ward, complained that the Sai Gon River is narrowing like a bottleneck due to the Thu Duc Housing Development Company and Tan Cang Port reclaiming land on either side of the river.

The Thu Duc Housing Development Company is also guilty of completely filling three channels that lead from the Sai Gon River to Tran Nao Street, replacing them with only one-meter-wide water inlets.

In the section near to Dem Market, the Tan Hung Services Trading Company has built a 360-meter-long solid concrete and steel embankment.

Authorities have gathered to organize meetings and discuss possible solutions to prevent and punish these atrocities, however, meanwhile they continue.

By Van Anh – Translated by Xuan Huong

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