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Dredging firms in hot water

Update: November, 02/2013 - 10:15

QUANG NGAI  (VNS) — Two commercial sand dredging enterprises operating in Tra Khuc River causing serious erosions have been suspended following protests by affected locals this week.

Hundreds of residents in Tu Nghia District's Nghia An Commune caused general disorder and traffic jams on National Highway 1A on Sunday morning as they gathered to protest against the disruptive activities of the companies.

According to the locals, intensive sand mining by Truong Phat Loc Joint Stock Company and Ngoc Viet Production, Trading and Service Co, Ltd had caused serious erosion and blocked waterways used by hundreds of local fishing vessels, undermining the safety of nearby residents.

The protest was taken to the office of the district's People's Committee, where the leaders of provincial government and relevant authorities in central Quang Ngai Province took the grievances into consideration.

After talks held with the locals on Monday the chairman of the provincial People's Committee, Cao Khoa, said the authority now required the two enterprises to stop the dredging and to repair damage caused by resulting landslides.

He also asked the relevant authorities to promptly clear out the river mouth in the next four days.

Vo Thi Anh Dao, a resident in Nghia An Commune, said that the commercial sand extraction had begun in March and the resulting activity by the two companies had caused landslides altering the river mouth with thick silt deposits.

The impact of the dredging had also disrupted the daily activities of local fishermen by preventing more than 100 fishing vessels from accessing anchorages previously used, she added.

Regarding the landslides, the provincial Party Committee Secretary Vo Van Thuong urged relevant agencies to build a temporary embankment to prevent further damage.

The province would then establish a project to build a permanent embankment that would effectively avoid further sand encroachment. — VNS


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