Wastewater treatment plant project in deadlock

The construction work on the wastewater treatment plant at the Tham Luong – Ben Cat canal in District 12 in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to finish this year, but it has not even started due to site clearance problems.

Work on the wastewater treatment plant at the Tham Luong – Ben Cat canal in District 12 in HCMC is delayed due to site clearance problem (Photo:Minh Tri)

“We still have to wait for the HCMC’s Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program and the District 12 Site Clearance and Land Compensation Board to clear the site of the construction,” said Vo Van Canh of the construction firm Phu Dien, the builder of the plant.

“According to the agreement between us and the city’s authority, we will build the plant in 19 months after the site clearance is finished,” Canh added.

Bui Viet Thien Trieu, deputy head of the District 12 Site Clearance and Land Compensation Board, said the board has offered land compensation to 25 out of 229 households in the clearance area, but only three accepted. “The remainders said the compensation was too low,” Trieu said.

Many households in the clearance site, on the other hands, said the compensation rate of VND200,000 (US$10) per square meter was unreasonable compared to the market price, asking for a rate of VND5 million per square meter.

Responding to the households’ complaint, Trieu said “the land compensation rate was set by HCMC Valuation Association. The payment rate of farmlands for cultivation of annual crops is VND200,000 per square meter and the rate of farmlands to grow perennial crops amounts to VND250,000 per square meter.”

The city’s authority also offered the households in the clearance areas a support of VND700,000 per square meter, which is 50 percent of the compensation rate of lands in residential zones, Trieu noticed.

Early last year, the HCMC People’s Commission approved a plan on building a wastewater treatment facility with the area of 13.6 hectares at the Tham Luong – Ben Cat canal system in District 12.

HCMC will build seven wastewater treatment facilities by 2015 to treat more than 1.2 million cubic meters of residential wastewater draining into the city’s rivers and canals everyday, Thanh Nien Newspaper said in a report.

Each plant would have a projected investment of VND1.3 trillion ($68.4 million). Thanh Nien Newspaper quoted Nguyen Van Phuoc, deputy director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, as saying.

He said the city now has only one wastewater treatment facility for residential use: the Binh Hung plant in the outlying district of Binh Chanh, which has a daily capacity of 141,000 cubic meters.

Phuoc said the nine plants could process the entirety of the city’s residential wastewater once they are all open.

Currently, untreated wastewater from residents in inner districts is drained into the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal before flowing to Saigon River, the main water source for Tan Hiep Waterworks, which caters the city’s people.

By Minh Tuan – Translated by Vu Minh

Other news