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High reservoir levels promise fewer power cuts

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:21 am




High reservoir levels promise fewer power cuts


QĐND – Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

No power cuts are expected in the near future during peak hours of usage as water levels in reservoirs are sufficiently high, according to Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).


According to the National Meteorology Forecasts Centre, as of November 22, water levels in central and southern reservoirs were 4.7 to 22 metres higher than dead-water levels.


Water levels in northern reservoirs, such as those at Hoa Binh, Tuyen Quang and Song Da hydro-power plants, were seven to 10 metres lower than the same period last year.


Dang Hoang An, deputy general director of EVN, said higher water levels had helped to bring hydro-power plants in Central Highlands and southern provinces to normal operations.


An said a number of thermo-power plants would be suspended for periodic maintenance in preparation for power generation in the dry season of 2011.


To avoid power cuts in peak hours, EVN would continue to purchase electric power from abroad and run plants using expensive fuels such as FO and DO.


He added that EVN had been making plans to release water from reservoirs to irrigate the spring crop in 2011.


EVN’s subsidiaries, in coordination with irrigation companies in the Red River Delta, had been inspecting the irrigations systems to receive sources of water from reservoirs and use them economically.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Call for more public transport, fewer cars

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 11:50 am

HCM CITY— Limitations on the use of private means of transport, particularly cars, and encouragement of public transportation have to happen in tandem in order to effectively address urban development challenges, experts have said.


They were speaking at the 13th International Conference on Urban Transport that opened in the city yesterday.


The three-day congress is being attended by more than 400 local and foreign participants from 27 countries and territories.


Opening the event, city vice chairman Nguyen Trung Tin said HCM City, as the country’ s economic, cultural and scientific hub with a double digit growth and contribution of 20 per cent of the nation’ s GDP, is facing a lot of major challenges, particularly in urban transportation.


How to balance the ever-increasing demand for transportation in light of the population boom, and to meet socio-economic needs along with environmental protection have been a headache to city authorities, he said.


He said transportation played a crucial role in urban development, but it was difficult to see how it could be harmonised with environmental protection.


He hoped the seminar would continue to serve as a forum for local governments, researchers and sponsors from around the world to exchange experiences in developing urban transport networks.


Speaking at the biennial seminar, deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong said along with an average 7-8 per cent economic growth rate over the past two decades, the transport demand for people and goods has also gone up.


But urban transport in Viet Nam’ s major cities, Ha Noi and HCM City, featured mostly individual means, including motorbikes and cars, while bus services could only meet 10 per cent of demand.


“Viet Nam’ s urban transport has mixed traffic flow with various kinds of traffic plying the roads at differing speeds, which has increased insecurity and caused a lot of difficulties in transport management,” he said.


The country has so far co-operated with some international organisations and foreign partners to discuss strategic and long-term solutions.


The deputy minister also admitted enormous challenges facing the transportation sector in general. These include increasing road accidents, chronic traffic congestion in large cities, environmental pollution, global climate change and recent hike in fuel prices.


However, the challenges create pressure on authorities to develop the urban transport network in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, he said.


Experts’ opinions


During the three-day seminar, participants will take turns to present experiences in applying scientific solutions and make specific suggestions on sustainable development of urban transport.


Main topics that will be discussed include new situations and challenges for urban transport and urban planning; and challenges of multimodal transport.


Christian Phillip, chairman of the CODATU (Co-operation for Urban Mobility in the Developing World) Association, said the Rhone-Alps region in France has for long worked with different countries worldwide to develop transportation projects.


He proposed a plan to develop suburban and inter-urban transport networks with different approaches such as taking cars or trains to suburban areas, or using a uniform bus fare system at affordable prices.


The chairman of SYTRAL, the second largest public transport authority in France, Bernard Rivalta, said there was a need to think about the megacity model having over 10 million people currently defined by the United Nations.


He said it was necessary to combine intelligence with technology in transport management, and emphasised the importance of staff training as transport management also includes financial management.


Hlya Zeybek, deputy director of Turkey’s State Railways’ Marketing Department and Muhtesem Kaynak of Turkey’ s Gazi University, said in his paper that “the worsening urban transport situation in mega cities urges developing countries to improve urban traffic management by investing in environmentally sustainable inter-city and rural-urban linkages.


“A major prerequisite for mega cities is sustainable transport: the development of clean, safe, reliable, and affordable systems for delivering goods and moving people.”


They said sustainable transport system requires a dynamic balance between the main pillars of sustainable development, i.e. economic, social and environmental issues.


Successful urban transport solutions have to address at the same time the three pillars, economic, , social and environmental sustaina-bility.


Those policies need to be based on a long-term vision, often exceeding the usual term of political mandates.


Creating sustainable transport solutions in mega cities of the developing countries require reducing local and global air pollutants, mitigating traffic congestion improving traffic safety, and removing mobility barriers.


In a report titled “Should motorcycles be blamed for traffic congestion in Vietnamese cities?”, Frank Montgomery, Hien Nguyen and Paul Timms argue that the argument that the increase in the number of motorcycles is the main reason for traffic congestion is not always appropriate.


“In practice, congestion will become much worse if the decrease in motorcycles is accompanied by a growth of private cars.”


Current measures to reduce the number of motorcycles will only successfully cut congestion if they are implemented in conjunction with other policies to limit private car ownership and encourage public transport ridership in urban areas, they said.


CODATU conferences are organised usually every two years and provide platforms for the exchange of knowledge and experiences for all transport and planning professionals. —