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People’s Council meeting hears complaints about HCMC’s rubbish problem

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HCMC has spent big money to treat waste, but the city is still unacceptably flooded with rubbish, the chair of the HCMC People’s Council, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, said at a recent meeting.

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HCMC has spent big money to treat waste

 

The ninth session of the HCMC People’s Council in mid-July heated up when participants mentioned the photo of Ngo Chi Hung, a sanitary worker, who had to dip himself in the sewer to pick up waste. The image appeared on ‘Lang nghe va Trao doi’ (Listen and Discuss) TV program broadcast in early July.

In the program, Hung talked about the severe working environment. Sometimes his skin peeled off because of chemicals discharged from construction sites, and at other times needles caused serious injuries.

Nguyen Thi Viet Tu from Binh Thanh district said she couldn’t hold back tears when seeing the images. One of the major reasons behind flooding is people’s littering, which clogs sewers and drainage pipes. 

It is necessary to impose heavy sanctions on the behavior of dropping litter, she said.

"While waiting for people to change their minds, I hope the city will provide protective clothing to workers in the sewers to improve their working conditions and help limit direct contact with dirt,” she said.

Nguyen Thi To Tram from Binh Tan district pointed out that littering is the ‘habit’ of the majority of people.

“Why don’t we strictly punish violators? If we do, they won’t drop litter next time,” Tram said.

Director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Nguyen Toan Thang claimed his responsibility.

According to Thang, the city is forecast to have 10,100 tons of waste every day by 2020, including 2,300 tons from public areas. If the waste cannot be collected and treated, it will cause pollution and flooding.

The city is planning to install cameras in public areas to discover violators and punish them. Under the new regulation, violators will be fined VND500,000-7 million.

Meanwhile, according to Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the HCMC Transport Department, the urban drainage system has total length of 4,176 kilometers and many of the 68,000 sluice gates are stuck because of garbage.

There are 1,500 workers working in the drainage system. Of these, 800 workers are in charge of dredging sewers and more than 300 workers have to get into sewers. 

Meanwhile, the pay to workers who have to work in such conditions is unreasonable. Each worker has a salary of VND9.9 million a month. 

The department is considering providing waterproof protective clothes to workers.

Tam said HCMC spends VND4 trillion a year to collect waste to ensure water drainage.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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