The navigation channel to the Bassac river – A motive for the Mekong Delta

By - 27/12/2009

On December 27th 2009, the Ministry of Transport and Tra Vinh province People’s Committee have celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony on “the improvement project of navigation channel to the Bassac river” – Quan Chanh Bo channel project. At the ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Thai Binh, the Party’s central member, Tra Vinh province committee secretary has had an exchange with Dat Viet newspaper’s reporter on preparation and role of the project in the socio-economic development in Tra Vinh in particular and the Mekong Delta in general.

- In which circumstance does the project come into being?

- Presently, the tendency of transporting cargos of regional countries is by ships with a capacity of 5.000 – 10.000 tons. Meanwhile, Can Tho port – the largest port in the Mekong Delta can, at present, accommodate vessels of about 30.000 tons only due to the deposit at Dinh An estuary with a depth of 3m only in some sections). Hence, vessels must transit at the ports in Ho Chi Minh city to moor at Can Tho port instead of the direct navigation, which results in arising inner freight, handling cost and toll at the ports in Ho Chi Minh city, increasing goods price and blocking from importing/exporting agricultural-aquatic products of the Mekong Delta.

The navigation channel to the Bassac river – A motive for the Mekong Delta
Model of Quan Chanh Bo channel

According to Mr. Le Cong Minh, the General Director of Sai Gon port in association with SP-SSA international terminal, SP-PSA terminal has just set a new record in operation capacity in Vietnam as 03 cranes have handled 103 containers/hour at the same time as compared to 90 containers/hour normally. The record was set on December 12th 2009 at Cai Mep – Thi Vai deep-water port, Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

The project will, subsequent to the completion, create favorable conditions for the Mekong Delta’ trading with the whole country and the world and promote the development of this focal economic zone.

- Which benefits will Tra Vinh province get?

- In order to ensure the infrastructure system in service of Dinh An economic zone to be connected to Quan Chanh Bo channel, the Government lays down as a policy the improvement investment of the whole national highway No 53 from Vinh Long to Tra Vinh and to Duyen Hai district and bordering Quan Chanh Bo channel as to be a fourth-grade road with 04 lanes, creating favorable conditions to connect Tra Vinh province with Ho Chi Minh city and the Mekong Delta’s provinces. The second project is the improvement of national highway No 60, connecting the National highway 1A from Trung Luong (Tien Giang) through Rach Mieu bridge to Ham Luong ferry (Ben Tre) to be changed into Ham Luong bridge. Recently, the Government has approved the construction plan of Co Chien bridge connecting Ben Tre with Tra Vinh after Ham Luong bridge comes into operation by 2010. As thus, upon the completion of Co Chien bridge, it will take 120 km only to travel from Tra Vinh to Ho Chi Minh city through National highway 61 and conversely, reducing by 80 km compared to the distance from Vinh Long – My Thuan bridge – Tien Giang – Long An – Ho Chi Minh city through National highway 53. Also, it will take about 2 hours only to travel from Tra Vinh to Ho Chi Minh city in case of the connection with Trung Luong – Ho Chi Minh highway.

The navigation channel to the Bassac river – A motive for the Mekong Delta
Mr. Nguyen Thai Binh

Also, at the conference on the promotion and investment in Tra Vinh in May, the groups, enterprises and companies local and abroad have been engaged to invest in 31 provincial works and projects. Presently, Tra Vinh deep-water port project has been commenced. Comprehensively, the project of Quan Chanh Bo channel which is connected to Co Chien bridge, National highway 60, National highway 53, entirely improved and connected to Tra Vinh deep-water port, etc will create favorable opportunities to attract many investors to land in Tra Vinh and Dinh An economic zone. Currently, Tra Vinh is a “promise” land to welcome investors instead of a previous fresh land.

- How has the local authority prepared for the project?

- As to implement the project, it is required to withdraw 1.356 households with a area of over 1.088 hectares. The total compensation reaches nearly VND 382 billion. The local authority has considered the settlement for 966 households. More than 90% of households receiving the compensation and assistance due to the land withdrawal have spent more stable and higher lives than before. Thanks to the good implementation of compensation policy, land assistance, labor “fruit” and thorough support for the settlement, the project has received the vigorous support from the local people.

- Thank you so much!

The improvement project of navigational channel to the Bassac river owned by Vietnam Maritime Administration is implemented in Long Vinh commune, Long Khanh, Dan Thanh (Duyen Hai district). The main work items are inclusive of: The expansion of Bassac river secion of 6km long, Quan Chanh Bo section of 19 km long, the dredging of Bypass canal section of 9 km and sea channel section of 6 km; the construction of sand-sheltered and wave-reduced breakwater, bank protection dike, jetty and local road; turning basin; navigation AIDS, electronic maritime system, etc. In Phase 1, Bypass canal is to be dredged from the sea through Tra Vinh province as to accommodate vessels with a capacity of over 20.000 tons to dock at Can Tho port.

(Translated by Portcoast)


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