Coal conveyor to reduce pollution
QUANG NINH — A conveyor tube transferring coal from Mao Khe Mine to Ben Can Port in northeastern Quang Ninh Province's Dong Trieu District is expected to put an end to air pollution caused by coal trucks in the region from August, if implemented on schedule.
Coal trucks drop countless amounts of coal in their wake on route from Mao Khe Mine to Ben Can Port. Local residents have suffered from coal dust and muddy roads due to the heavily loaded trucks. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
Pham Thanh Truong, chairman of the Mao Khe Town People's Committee, said that the tube was one part of key solutions to improving the town environment.
The 3.6-km tube, 3.5 metres in diameter, will be capable of dealing with 2-3 million tonnes of coal per year. Tube construction, started in 2008, has cost over VND520 billion ($25.4 million) and included a communication system and a camera monitoring network.
A local resident, Nguyen Van Quang, said that, for years, locals had to contend with speeding coal trucks dropping countless amounts of coal in their wakes on route from Mao Khe Mine to Ben Can Port.
Quang said that residents along the road had to keep their doors and windows closed at all times in order to avoid suffocating in coal dust, which turned sunny days gloomy and roads into mud when it rained.
Other residents complained that the heavy loaded trucks had caused potholes along the road, jeopardising safety.
The vice head of the district Natural Resources and Environment Department, Vuong Van Thong, said that air pollution, caused by coal trucks, had been reported in the town for years.
Around 10 years ago, the Mao Khe Coal Company, a member of the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group, upgraded the road for trucks to transport coal.
Although the road was spayed with water to avoid dust on a daily basis, high traffic frequency undermined most such efforts, Thong said.
Local households got so angry with the situation that they had gathered to stop trucks from using the road last month, marking the fifth time that local residents have taken it upon themselves to urge the Mao Khe Coal Company to solve the problem, according to Truong.
In response to complaints, and having previously tried to fix the road without much effect, the company decided to work with local authorities and affected households in order to find a solution.
Truong said that, as part of renewed efforts, the company had collected all waste on route, fixed potholes and upgraded the road with macadam.
"As soon as the conveyor tube goes into operation, the town plans to invest VND40 billion ($1.9 million) in upgrading the road surface, pavement and lighting system along the old route," Truong affirmed. — VNS