Ho Chi Minh City lawmakers Thursday debated hot issues surrounding ‘death holes”, project inefficiency, illegal racing and others at the 19th meeting of the city People’s Council, set to conclude today.
Deputy Truong Trong Nghia speaks at the the 19th meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council on December 9, 2010. Photo: Tuoi Tre
During the 7th session, Director of Transport Department Tran Quang Phuong rejected claims that the numerous potholes found on major streets were all caused by prolonged and inefficient street renovations.
Only 21 out of the city’s current 57 depressions or “death holes” are due to ongoing road constructions, he clarified.
“The recent reconstruction activities are not to be blamed”, he asserted.
Phuong blamed them on exploration activities for underground water.
But Dao Anh Kiet, Director of Department of Resource and Environment, disagreed, arguing that such exploration would cause widespread depressions on a big scale, not just small potholes as is currently the case.
“There is no cause-and-effect relationship between underground water explorations and those depressions”.
Meanwhile, deputy Nguyen Dang Nghia had another theory. He cited official documents from the city People’s Committee to prove that ineffective road reconstructions were the culprits.
Another deputy, Truong Trong Nghia, worried such potholes could not be filled within the next 6 months, posing great risks to passers-by.
Inefficient infrastructure projects
Thai Van Re, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment told participants that investment in infrastructures in key downtown centers was effective and concentrated, citing as examples Hoang Hoa Tham and Nguyen Van Cu bridges and the East-West avenue project.
But Dang Van Khoa disagreed, explaining it cost 12 years and hundreds of billions of dong (VND100 billion = US$5.1 million) to finish the Hoang Hoa Tham bridge and hundreds of billions more on Nguyen Huu Canh street.
Specifically, the Go Dua Bridge has been under construction for five years but is yet to be put into operation.
Re retorted, attributing such inefficiencies to delays in clearance and compensation arising from objective reasons.
“It’s wrong to say investment activities are ineffective by referring to such particular sites”, Re said.
Others inquired into investment returns when many infrastructure projects lagged behind or were adjusted for more additional capital.
Dare the daredevil
Illegal motorbike racing was also under heated debate.
While local lawmakers praised attempts by police to curb such acts, others demanded more transparency in inspecting and disciplining police officers.
According to Deputy Director of City Police Department Colonel Phan Anh Minh, fighting races was not an overnight task.
“It takes time”, Minh admitted.
Others issues on the agenda during this session includes school violence, brothels posing as karaoke parlors, pubs, bars, transport stations and high interest loans.
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