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Hanoi advised to turn ‘dead’ To Lich River into anti-flooding tunnel and cultural park

To Lich River area would become a historic, cultural and spiritual park with a network of anti-flooding tunnels and underground highways along the river under a special project.
To Lich River remains polluted

This solution was presented by the Japan-Vietnam Environmental Improvement Company (JVE) and Japanese partners at a workshop held by the HCM City People’s Committee and Vusta some days ago.

The capital for project implementation would be from ODA provided by the Japanese government.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, president of JVE, said the project proponent comprises two major components. The first is a system of highways with two separate ways, connecting key transport points of the capital city, and the anti-flooding system with water collection wells, underground drainage tunnels (set below the underground highways) and huge pressurized tank.

The tunnel system is expected to have total length of 11.65 kilometers, with water collection troughs set on one side of the way, along the To Lich Historical, Cultural and Spiritual Park. The water would flow to nine water collection wells to be set on nine positions along the river. They would be connected by a tunnel with the diameter of 16.8 meters. The underground tunnel would lead water to a giant pressurized tank at the end of the route (near Thanh Liet dam).

The tank is designed in a way to contain millions of cubic meters of water in heavy 500 mm rain. The water from the pressurized tank will drain to Nhue River with a pump system with capacity of 200 cubic meters per second when the Nhue River water level goes down.

The second major component is a historic, cultural and spiritual park, where cultural works will be built, floating on the river. There will be dome bridges that link the two riverbanks so that dragon boats carrying tourists can go back and forth below smoothly.

Tuan said that the project implementation won’t impact residential quarters on the two river banks and no site clearance will be required. The riverbed won’t be narrowed and concretization of the river bottom will not occur.

In addition, the project will solve the stench and remove polluting sources, both inside and outside the river, and help solve flooding in Hanoi and urban traffic problems.

Declining to talk about the investment capital of the project, Tuan said there would be a detailed report on the issue soon. The financial solution is using ODA capital, reciprocal domestic capital and other sources.

Hanoi vows to revive dead rivers

Hanoi Vice Mayor Duong Duc Tuan said on the sidelines of the workshop that the municipal authorities have assigned relevant departments to study the proposal.

To Lich River was formerly a tributary of the Red River, bringing water from the upper Red River to the Nhue River. Today's To Lich River has the starting point at Hoang Quoc Viet and the ending point at Thanh Liet dam (downstream), integrating into the Nhue river with total length of nearly 13 kilometers.

To Lich’s major water supply sources are West Lake, Lu River, rainwater, and waste water along the riverbanks. Within the Hanoi’s water drainage system, To Lich valley has a very high population density. Domestic waste water pours into To Lich river, causing pollution for many years, turning it into a ‘dead’ river.

In the process of urbanization and gentrification, To Lich, Kim Nguu, Lu and Set rivers in the inner city play a very important role in the city's general drainage system and have historical, landscape, architectural and environmental value.

However, the rivers are seriously polluted and no comprehensive solution to the problem has been offered. One of the key tasks of gentrification is reviving To, Kim Nguu, Lu and Set rivers.

The municipal authorities have assigned departments and branches to review water drainage planning integrated in the general planning of the capital city development, and to draw up a detailed development plan.

The building of a tunnel combined with traffic development to increase the drainage capacity of the valley is a reasonable solution in the context of climate change and extreme weather conditions. 

This will lead to changes in the functions of To Lich, turning the river into a landscape area in the urban area. The water drainage of To Lich would be replaced by an underground tunnel system along the river.

Kien Trung - Dinh Hieu

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