KHANH HOA (VNS) — Residents of Ninh Xuan Commune in the central province of Khanh Hoa have ended their blockade of a sugar mill after receiving promises that the company will take steps to stop the severe environmental pollution that it has been causing.
On Wednesday, about 100 households surrounded the premises of the Ninh Hoa Sugar JSC, protesting the large amount of dust and waste water discharged directly into the local environment everyday, badly affecting local residents' lives.
The company also produced a lot of noise, not just during the day, but of late, at night as well, robbing residents off their sleep, Nguyen Tat Chieu, head of the commune's Phuoc Lam Hamlet, told the Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper.
Nguyen An, another resident, told the paper that fish and shrimps bred in the area have died en masse since the company began operations in 2006.
Once the residents began protesting, local authorities asked the company to discuss the problem with the protestors and find a solution, Tran Cong Hoan, Chairman of the Ninh Hoa Town People's Committee, said on Thursday.
In talks held with the people and the local authorities, the company admitted to producing noise and dust as it cleaned its steam pipes before putting them into operation.
Company officials said that the problem would stop as soon as they completed installation of new equipment and technology to minimise noise and dust production, starting next Wednesday. They also said they would comply with the law on waste water treatment, and carry out measures soon to deal with the pollution it had been causing for years.
Local authorities said they had reported to the provincial Environmental Police the pollution that the company had been causing. — VNS