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VietNamNews

Polluting firm forces residents' relocation

Update: March, 27/2012 - 09:48

DA NANG — Central Da Nang City authorities have asked relevant agencies to promptly resettle the nearly 260 households currently located near two steel plants in Hoa Vang District's Hoa Lien commune due to issues with the plants' pollution.

The move was made following a household complaint about noise and air pollution caused by operations at the Thai Binh Duong and Dana-Italy steel plants.

The resettlement work is expected to be completed by June 30 this year, said Vice Chairman of Hoa Vang District's People Committee Dang Thuong at a tripartite dialogue between representatives of local authorities, the plants and local residents on Sunday.

However, Thuong told Viet Nam News yesterday that the resettlement was not expected to be finished until August or later this year due to the shortage of land funds.

Da Nang authorities will allocate the resettlement land project funds. Leaders of the two plants also committed to contribute capital, he said, remaining vague about the exact costs of resettlement.

"If the resettlement is not ready, local authorities are willing to provide financial assistance to any household that wants to rent a place to live to avoid pollution," he added.

At the dialogue, local residents complained that the two plants operated around-the-clock, causing noise and serious air pollution.

Nguyen Tuan, a resident living near Dana-Italy steel plant, said his children could not concentrate on studying while others could not rest as a result of the noise and dust from the plant.

Director General of Dana-Italy plant Ho Nghia Tin admitted to his plant's pollution and said the plant had invested in building two air treatment facilities but still could not completely ameliorate the problem.

"The plant will install one more air treatment facility with the hopes of minimising the pollution," he said.

He added that the plant suggested that Da Nang authorities resettle surrounding residents last year and would help pay for the resettlement work.

Director General of Thai Binh Duong plant Nguyen An also admitted that the plant's night-time operation annoyed local residents and explained that the lower cost of electricity at night required the plant to operate during these hours.

He pledged to gradually reduce the pollution and was ready to help relocate the local residents.

The two plants were put into operation more than three years ago. — VNS

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