|The Xa No Canal is an important waterway route that has changed the look of Vi Thanh Town, Hau Giang Province. Developing inland waterways may help ease pressure on the country's roads. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HA NOI (VNS) — Law makers yesterday agreed that developing inland waterways would help ease pressure on the country's roads.
Backing the claim, Deputy Do Van Ve from northern Thai Binh Province said inland water plans would need to consider the operation of hydro-power plants, irrigation and flood releases.
"The bill should add regulations on master plans for developing inland water-traffic infrastructure in tandem with economic development plans."
"The river basin scheme should also be compatible with national defence and security objectives," said Ve.
Ve added that the law needed to include a clear definition of inland waterways to clarify the need for the project and ensure appropriate management of inland waterway vehicles.
Deputy Bui Thi An from Ha Noi, recommended assigning oversight of the master plan to an organisation to minimise overlaps and waste.
Deputies also debated traffic safety, business management, hygiene and environmental protection measures relevant to the inland-waterway transport law, expressing concerns with administrative overlaps posing difficulties in the management and handling of violations.
Deputy Huynh Minh Thien from HCM City said the Ministry of Transport's Viet Nam Marine Administration managed seven river routes (176km), while the Viet Nam Inland Waterway Department managed 16 inland waterways (252km) and the remaining 87 (574km) was managed by the HCM City transport department.
"The bill should clearly separate the role of the state and localities in the management of inland waterway traffic," Thien said.
An official NA report stated that of the country's 80,577km of rivers and canals, nearly 42,000km were used for transport activities, while State management authorities currently oversee around 19,000km of the nation's busiest inland waterways.
Deputy Tran Xuan Hung from northern Ha Nam Province said the operation of inland traffic was a complex issue; adding that unqualified issues or unregistered boats were causing a high number of accidents.
Deputy Nguyen Minh Kha from Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta called for more stringent checks on boat operators to enforce licencing and safety standards.
Deputy Nguyen Ngoc Phuong from central Quang Binh Province said the law also needed to ensure adequate hygiene and tighter controls on waste discharged directly into rivers.
Deputies yesterday also passed a resolution to improve the management of hydro-power projects.
Later in the day, NA deputies also approved a resolution on the prevention and fight against crime.
The resolution calls on local authorities and police to fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring safety and security in localities. The law also seeks to shore up police management of illegal gambling, drugs and prostitution.
The resolution also assigns the Government in instructing ministries, sectors and localities in the fight against corruption and waste in 2012-16 as well as a national strategy on combating corruption until 2020.
Accordingly, the Government would issue a detailed instruction next year on supervising the properties and income of officials and defining the responsibilities of leaders of organisations and agencies suspected of wrong doing. The Government would also take responsibilities in the detection and settlement of wrongdoings in the judicial sector, the popularisation of law and the improvement of the legal system.
Also in the afternoon session, the deputies discussed the Law on Public Investment, which regulates the assessment and approval of public investment projects.
The discussions focused on the planning and assessment of public investment projects as well as requirements and eligible applicants for the projects.
The NA will vote on the approval of the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and a resolution on executing the constitution today. The session will be televised publicly.
Delegates will also approve a resolution on plans to issue Government bonds during 2014-16 and debate the draft Law on Entry, Exit and Residence of Foreigners in Viet Nam. — VNS