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Ninh Thuan farmers protest salt works

Update: May, 11/2015 - 08:15
They claim that the Ca Na Salt JSC had created so much saline intrusion on 60 hectares of cultivated land thast no more vegetables could be grown. — Photo dantri

NINH THUAN (VNS) — Many households in central Ninh Thuan Province's Phuoc Minh Commune are living in tents outside a pumping station to try and stop a company storing and pumping sea water for salt production.

They claim that the Ca Na Salt JSC had created so much saline intrusion on 60 hectares of cultivated land thast no more vegetables could be grown.

In the meantime, the company said that the protests had stopped them from producing salt from more than 1,800 hectares of their salt field, causing the loss of tens of billion of dong.

Nguyen Cong Su, resident in Phuoc Minh Commune's Lac Tien Village, said 27 households had reported salt intrusion on their land since 2008, when the company built reservoirs and a sea-water pumping station.

Nguyen Thi Huong, a resident from Lac Tien Village, said she and other villagers hoped provincial authorities would take measures to solve the problem.

Nguyen Duc Phan, deputy director of the company, said this was the seventh times local people stopped the company from pumping sea water.

He said the company had spent nearly VND10 billion (US$460,000) to compensate affected residents.

According to Phan, it will take at least four months and about VND30 billion ($1.38 million) to resume their operations.

The 1,800 hectare salt field can produce 50,000 tonnes of salt a year, worth VND40 billion ($1.84 million).

Phan said the company was willing to work with authorities and residents to solve the situation.

Vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee, Tran Xuan Hoa, admitted that the company's reservour contaminated cultivated land.

He said the committee has asked the Thuan Nam District's People's Committee to set up a team to evaluate the losses. — VNS

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