Posted on January 17, 2024
In a move that promises to breathe new life into Hanoi’s iconic West Lake, the Tay Ho District has revealed an ambitious plan to dredge the lake, with an estimated budget of $81 million (VND1.6 trillion). This initiative is not an isolated act but part of a comprehensive renovation strategy aimed at enhancing the lake’s aesthetic and ecological health.
An Investment in Restoration
The district’s plan includes the construction of wharves along the lake’s edge, the installation of a water fountain at the heart of the lake, and the development of a sophisticated technical system. In a show of commitment, Tay Ho District is prepared to allocate VND1.2 trillion from its own budget to fund the project. To cover the remaining balance, the district has proposed tapping into the city’s state budget.
Previous Dredging Attempts
Efforts to dredge West Lake are not a new development. A similar initiative was launched in 2011, with the removal of 440,000 cubic meters of sediment by 2016, at an investment of VND128 billion. However, a disturbing mass fish die-off brought the project to an abrupt halt, and no further dredging has taken place since that alarming incident.
West Lake: A Blend of Beauty and Challenges
Covering an area of 500 hectares, West Lake is more than a body of water. It’s a beloved destination for both locals and tourists, a serene oasis nestled in the bustling city of Hanoi. The lake’s surroundings are enriched by cultural and historical landmarks, including various temples, pagodas, and gardens. The ancient Tran Quoc Pagoda graces a small island near the southeastern shore, adding to the lake’s allure. Despite its undeniable beauty and cultural significance, West Lake is plagued by persistent pollution issues. It serves as the unfortunate recipient of wastewater from surrounding residential, commercial, and industrial areas, leading to eutrophication. This condition, characterized by an overgrowth of algae and aquatic plants, depletes oxygen levels, posing a serious threat to the lake’s fish population and overall aquatic ecosystem.