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Ministry angry as land use violations found nationwide

Update: November, 15/2013 - 09:54

Following the results of inspections carried out from early 2012 until October this year, fines of nearly VND28 billion (US$1.3 million) were handed out, said the ministry's Chief Inspector Le Quoc Trung.— Photo giaoduc

HA NOI (VNS) — Inspectors from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment had uncovered land use and management violations across more than 190,450ha nationwide, the ministry said yesterday.

Following the results of inspections carried out from early 2012 until October this year, fines of nearly VND28 billion (US$1.3 million) were handed out, said the ministry's Chief Inspector Le Quoc Trung.

Concerning environmental protection, inspectors found that many of the 669 organisations they looked at had broken waste treatment regulations.

"Local authorities have not come down hard enough on these violators," Trung said.

Regarding inspections of mines, inspectors found that a number of localities had failed to zone off areas where mining was banned, and some had issued mining licences without the proper authorisation.

Many mineral exploitation businesses had not fulfilled their commitments to repair environmental damage caused by their activities, and inspectors had only issued fines of VND800 million ($37,900) as punishment.

Deputy Minister Chu Pham Ngoc Hien said inspections were a key task for the ministry, but challenges remained that were hindering their progress.

"A shortage of inspectors is a problem. There are only 800 inspectors in the whole country who are entrusted to manage all environment-related fields," he said.

He also cited limited capacity and a lack of essential equipment and vehicles as other challenges.

"We need to mobilise the whole of society for this task in order to help prevent more violations," he said. — VNS

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