Water plants idle due to poor management, lack of funds

HA NOI — As many as 16 clean water treatment plants in Ha Noi’s suburban districts have been left unused for four or five years due to a shortage of funds and poor management from local authorities.

The treatment plants, which were supported by funds totalling almost VND100 billion (US$4.7 million), are in Ung Hoa, Thanh Oai, Hoai Duc, Chuong My, Quoc Oai and Dan Phuong districts.

Nearly 200,000 local residents who are struggling with limited water supplies from other facilities stand to benefit if the 16 stations begin operations.

Under an initial agreement, the city budget would pay for 60 per cent of the total funds to build the stations, and the remaining costs would be covered by each district.

“However, many districts cannot find sources of funds for the work,” said Vu Binh Nguyen, director of the Ha Noi Clean Water and Rural Environment Sanitation Centre.

Thanks to funds from the city budget, about 80 per cent of construction work was completed, he said.

Another reason for the delay was that local authorities did not pay adequate attention to managing and maintaining the treatment plants.

“Because they have been left idle for such a long time, most of the machinery and equipment at the plants are out of order or have even disappeared,” said Nguyen.

“Reservoirs at the plants are leaking and the network of pipes are rusty.”

The water treatment plant in Chuong My District’s Tan Tien Commune was built in 2006 with funds totalling VND2.5 billion (US$125,000) from the city’s and commune’s budgets.

However, local authorities were irresponsible in managing and protecting the station, and some equipment was lost or damaged.

During an inspection of the plant in July last year, officers found that only two-thirds of the station’s pumps were working, and some water pipes had vanished, said Nguyen.

“It will take a long time to repair the plants because there are so many different problems in different districts,” he said.

Director of the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pham Ngoc Thach said the department would work with the municipal People’s Committee to call for investment from enterprises and organisations to finish construction work at uncompleted plants.

According to statistics from the Ha Noi Clean Water and Rural Environment Sanitation Centre, by the end of last year, Ha Noi’s suburban districts had 101 clean water treatment stations, of which 85 were working effectively and supplying water to about 600,000 residents. — VNS


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