Up to 60 per cent of the water treatment plants in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak have been abandoned or are operating inefficiently, forcing thousands of households to draw water from wells or nearby rivers, a provincial-wide survey has discovered.
DAK LAK —
7.9m goes missing from
Tien Giang project
TIEN GIANG — Inspectors have discovered a shortfall of VND166 billion (US$7.9 million) following the completion of a water-supply project in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, with the contractor and some former province authorities suspected of violating various investment, tender, and construction regulations.
The People's Committee announced this at a press conference on Monday after inspectors wrapped up an audit of the Dong Tam Water Plant, which supplies 90,000cu.m of water per day.
The build-own-operate project was undertaken by the Dong Tam Joint Stock Company in which the province owns 40 per cent and the HCM City Infrastructure Investment JSC, 49 per cent.
The work cost more than VND1.4 trillion ($66.8 million), of which VND168 billion came from the province.
The plant began functioning in June last year, supplying 50,000cu.m a day to around 60,000 families in the province.
It is also meant to supply some industrial areas in the eastern part of the province but construction of industrial parks has been tardy. — VNS
The survey, the first of its kind in the province, was implemented by the provincial Union of Science and Technology Associations.
Of the 82 water purification plants in the province, only 33 are in use and operating properly. The remainder are either operating below capacity or not working due to delays in construction work.
Five plants which were built in 2008 at a cost of tens of billions of dong have been abandoned without ever becoming operational. These are the Ea Tul Water Works in Cu M'gar District, Ea Rok in Ea Sup District, Ea M'lay in MDak District, Ea Toh in Krong Nang District and Cu Kty in Krong Bong District.
Meanwhile, the Buon Tul water treatment plant in Buon Don District, Cu Kbang in Ea Sup District, Buon Trap in Krong Nang District and Dray Linh in Buon Ma Thuot City have still not opened or are plagued by leaks or faulty pumping facilities.
According to the results of the survey, most of the abandoned plants were managed by the local authorities.
Meanwhile, 31 of 35 local authority-run water plants have either not opened or are working inefficiently. Nearly 20 out of 32 co-operatively managed water treatment plants have lain idle for years.
Tran Van Vinh, chief administrator of Cu Kty Commune's People's Committee, said about 1,090 households in the commune were without clean water.
He said a water pumping station had recently been built to supply potable water to local residents but that due to staff shortages only about 200 households were getting clean water. The remaining households have had to do with wells or collect water from nearby rivers, he said.
Ton Nu Tuan Nam, a member of the survey team, said all 15 water treatment plants under the control of the provincial Centre for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation were in use, with 14 operating to full capacity.
She attributed this to the fact that workers at the plants had been trained, were properly paid and were receiving benefits such as social and health insurance.
She added that water treatment facilities built in localities where they were not needed should be demolished.
"It takes about two years to repair, upgrade and put these abandoned works into operation," she said. — VNS