HCMC wants the Transport Ministry to spend VND1,135 billion ($49 million) over five years to dredge the Soai Rap River and facilitate waterway transportation.
The average sedimentation volume of the river over the past five years is about two to three million cubic meters each year, and it is necessary to remove sediments and debris from its bed to maintain the depth of navigation channels and ensure safe passage of boats and ships with loading capacities of 30,000 to 50,000 tons, the municipal Department of Transport has said in its proposal to the city administration.
Soai Rap is the distributor of the Saigon and Dong Nai river systems.It flows through Ho Chi Minh City and the provinces of Long An and Tien Giang before reaching the sea.
The ministry said it would need VND227 billion per year over the next five years for the dredging project, but added that the Ministry of Transport must do it because it is currently in charge of traffic on the Soai Rap river.
The city estimates that about 120-150 million tons of goods will be transported each year through the Soai Rap River by 2025 and such revenue in the period 2015-2025 will be between 580,000 and 720,400 billion VND.
The river has been dredged once before.A 54 km (33.5 miles long with a total water surface area of 1,308 hectares (3,232 acres) in HCMC, Long An and Tien Giang were dredged in 2014.
A dredging project in 2014 with a cost of 2 VND.VND8 trillion, of which Ho Chi Minh City contributed VND624 billion and the rest was completed by Belgium's official development assistance.
At the end of 2015, Ho Chi Minh City asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to seek ODA and other funding sources to continue dredging the river, but this was refused.
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