Extensively river encroachment in HCMC

In many years, the encroachment on riversides, waterways, and trenches in HCMC has been rapidly increasing but the local authorities in many districts still neglect to handle the violations.

Households lives along a cannal in HCMC. Many people made use of the riversides, waterways, and trenches for housing and business (Photo:Minh Tri)

Although the Decision about prohibition on the illegal usage of land and bad damage to riversides, waterways, and trenches has been enforced since 2004, there are still many people who encroach on the riversides, waterways, and trenches for housing and accommodation.

As we acknowledge, early this month, these hard situations happen extensively along the bank of Saigon River, Vam Thuat River, Tan Hoa – Lo Gom Waterway, Van Thanh Trench or near Pham Van Chi Bridge, etc.

Riversides, waterways, and trenches in Ho Chi Minh City these days are also encroached for carrying on business. Bach Dang pier, passage of Saigon riverbank in Tran Nao Street or the area along Thanh Da waterway, for example, are made use of to construct coffee bars or tea shops or even pubs or restaurants.

People also commonly exploit these areas to gather sand, pebble or trade building materials. These things do not only destroy the bank of the rivers, waterways, and trenches but also put the inhabitants and their properties in danger when the rainy seasons come.

Loose management

According to the figures provided by HCMC Department of Traffic and Transportation, until early April of this year, there are 72 cases of illegal encroachment, including 33 cases of rivers, waterways, and trenches encroachment and 39 cases of illegal work carried out in the protection area near rivers, waterways, and trenches.

These infringements have a tendency to increase highly but local authorities in many areas haven’t absolutely dealt with these problems and even let many more cases to occur.

HCMC Department of Traffic and Transportation, therefore, has recently sent the proposal to HCMC People’s Committee directing People’s Committee in the district where the infringements happen to handle strictly every circumstance and prevent the possibility of encroachment. HCMC People’s Committee also asks the local People’s Committee not to permit work in the protection area of Saigon River.

“If local authorities are not determined enough to deal with these violations, it is possible that the passage along the riversides in HCMC will disappear and there is no place left for growing plants,” said Mr. Phan Hoang Tri, Deputy President of Waterway Management.

By Dinh Ly and Bich Ngan – Translated by Huu Duy

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