Idle bridges

Published: 09/05/2011 05:00


View more pictures In many places in the Mekong Delta, poor management has resulted in a wasteful construction of bridges.

View more pictures In many places in the Mekong Delta, poor management has resulted in a wasteful construction of bridges.

Every time they use Hoa Thanh Bridge, residents in Hoa Thanh Commune in Ca Mau City in the southernmost province of Ca Mau can’t help sighing at the sight of an idle bridge that runs parallel to it.

“They didn’t seem to think far ahead when they built these two bridges,” said Le Chi Thanh, who frequents Hoa Thanh Bridge.

A lack of vision in the part of the local government, or simply unexpected circumstances, explained the construction of these two bridges in this commune.

According to Tran Hoa Xuan, Chairman of the communal People’s Committee, when it was built, the smaller and now idle bridge, which cost VND200 million, was only intended to serve local residents.

Later, as the commune was better connected to Ca Mau City, it needed to have a bigger bridge to accommodate greater transportation needs. The bigger Hoa Thanh Bridge, which cost over VND3 billion, was thus built.

“Local residents consider this a great waste, and so do we,” Xuan said, adding that throughout the commune, there are as many as three such idle bridges.

In Vi Thanh Commune in Hau Giang Province, local authorities’ hastiness caused another sort of waste.

Residents here say they are anxiously waiting for the completion of two bridges, Muoi Ba Ngan and Muoi Mot Ngan Ruoi, each of which is 38m long and 8m wide.

Yet, the bridges have been left in an almost finished state for the past 8 months.

Le Thanh Viet, head of the project management unit under Hau Giang Province’s Department of Transport, explained that local authorities had hastily built the bridges even before the higher level of government was done with compensating households who are to be removed from the sites.

Viet said the compensation process was still taking place and the bridges would be completed within three months. But a long delay has already added new expenses to the initial estimated cost of VND10.6 billion for both bridges.

And in Can Tho City, both investors’ irresponsibility and authorities’ poor management are blamed for wasteful construction of bridges.

Investors here have been filling up their waterways at such a speed for the past decade that many bridges that used to be over water are now lying over dry land and are thus useless.

An engineer who wishes to be unnamed said Can Tho, which has let its investors fill up canals in a reckless manner, didn’t just make its spending on bridges a waste but would be flooded in rainy seasons now that its waterways are disappearing.

As for those bridges that are still useful, local residents say they show technical problems that should never have been allowed to happen.

Rau Ra Bridge in Ninh Kieu District is an example. The ends of this bridge were built too low that big trucks now can’t pass under them and have to find alternative roads, which unnecessarily increases their traveling time.

To all of these problems, some local governments say they have learned priceless lessons and believe they won’t make the same mistakes again.

Tran Van Duyen, head of the traffic management unit of Ca Mau Province’s Department of Transport, for instance said whatever it plans to build now, Ca Mau will build it with both eyes to the future.

For his part, Nguyen Thanh Nhon, Vice Chairman of Hau Giang’s People’s Committee, said his province had requested investors to finish delayed projects and would resolutely cancel contracts with those who can’t carry out their projects in a timely fashion.

Source: Tuoi Tre

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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