Tuyen Quang (VNS/VNA) – Authoritiesin several northern provinces have remained silent as hundreds of thousands ofhouseholds living along Lo river desperately seek help to prevent their farmsbeing swept away by rampant sand mining.
The households in the northern provinces of TuyenQuang, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc said that hundreds of sand mining boats operatingalong the two river banks are responsible for the erosion that threatens theirland. They have reported the situation to local authorities, but to no avail.
Dozens of dredging boats have been foundoperating on the river section that passes through Phu Tho province. Some ofthese have moved close to the river bank to mine sand, threatening residents’corn fields.
Ho Thi Thanh Kien, a resident of Phu Ninh district’sHa Giap commune, said she as well as other residents had to harvest the corn inhaste as they were afraid the land would disappear soon.
“The water has almost reached the fence of mycorn field,” she said.
In Son Duong district’s Dong Tho commune, aroundten hectares of farm land were lost to erosion soon after dredgers beganoperating in the area.
Duong Thi Lien, a resident of Son Duong district’sLam Xuyen commune, said that as much as 700sq.m of her 1,000sq.m plus plot hasbeen swept away, and she is scared she will lose the rest too.
Duong Thi Phuong Nhung, Chairwoman of the LamXuyen commune People’s Committee, said they have been reporting thesituation to provincial authorities, but have received no response.
A similar situation prevails in Vinh Phuc province.
Although the provincial People’s Committeeinvested 19 billion VND (836,400 USD) last year to build a dyke system along the river in Song Lo district,landslides have continued to occur.
Nguyen Thi Loan, a resident of the province’s DonNhan commune in Song Lo district, said that local residents have askedauthorities for help many times, but received no reply.
The situation has seen conflicts flare upbetween the residents and sand miners.
After reporting the illegal sand mining producedno result, locals have gathered to block and even burn some of the boats.
On August 8, residents of Tuyen Quang province’sXuan Van commune burnt a boat belonging to the Toan Thang Construction andTrading Service Co. Ltd.
Nguyen Huu Minh of Xuan Van commune said thatlocal residents had asked the company’s representative to talk about theserious landslides caused by its sand exploitation, but the company refused.
They had tried to drive the sand mining boatsaway, but these vehicles soon returned.
In July, 2016, a sand dredger belonging to theThai An Company in Phu Tho province’s Vinh Phu commune was also burnt. Localsclaimed that the company’s boats were illegally mining sand outside the allowedarea at night, causing landslides that threatened their land.
Residents said that lax management by authorisedagencies, typified by mass granting of sand exploitation licences without anyregard for sustainability, is also responsible for the conflicts between themand sand mining firms.
Along the 5km-long river bank in Vinh Phucprovince’s Don Nhan commune, up to six firms have been licensed to mine sand.
A representative of the provincial Department ofNatural Resources and Environment said that license granting procedures wereimplemented according to plans approved by provincial authorities.
On the accusation of illegal sand mining nearthe river’s banks, Tran Minh Duong, head of the provincial department’sMinerals Division, said that the office has conducted regular inspections ofall six firms and found them operating in the designated area.
Duong said that their sand mining had notimpacted the dyke.
In Tuyen Quang province, provincial authoritieshave issued documents to halt all sand mining activities, but dredging boatshave been caught operating regularly in Son Duong district’s Van Son commune.
In Phu Tho province, waterway traffic police saytheir inspections have found no violations.
Nguyen Xuan Toan, head of the provincialDepartment of Natural Resources and Environment’s Minerals Division, said foursand mining businesses have been licensed in the province. Since 2016, theoffice has found no violations, he added.
But residents are not happy. They wantauthorised agencies to publicise the names of businesses that have sand mininglicences, their mineral exploitation certificate, including the number of minesand their areas, total area and the quantity and type of exploitation. This,residents say, would allow them to monitor the businesses and report violationsmore accurately to authorised agencies.-VNA
Sand mining erodes farm land in northern provinces have 716 words, post on en.vietnamplus.vn at 2017-10-12 22:27:14. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.