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Ha Noi to auction sand-mining rights

Update: August, 26/2014 - 08:46
Illegal sand exploitation takes place along the Hong (Red) River. Ha Noi authorities plan to auction sand-ming rights for the riverbed in Long Bien District this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Lam

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi People's Committee will auction sand-mining rights in the riverbed of the Hong (Red) River in the city's Long Bien District starting in the fourth quarter of this year.

The mining area is about 50ha with estimated reserve of 500,000 cubic metres of sand.

Expected to add at least VND450 million (US$21,200) to the city's budget, the auction is part of a city plan approved by committee vice chairman Vu Hong Khanh that aims to create a legal base for granting exploitation licences and ensure fair competition among investors.

Inadequate management at district, ward and commune levels made illegal sand mining a recurring problem in city rivers. In many cases, local authorities signed land-rent contracts with violators and collected rental fees for years, making it difficult to remove illegal storage sites. Fines for such violations also fail to deter miners.

The city's People's Committee said that illegal sand mining could cause landslides and change river flow, in addition to endangering the dyke system.

The municipal People's Committee has granted mineral mining licences at 31 sites, of which 16 are operational and 15 are completing land-renting procedures and other relevant documents.

Major minerals including stones, sand and peat are being exploited on Hong, Day, Tich and Ca Lo rivers in Soc Son, Me Linh, Dong Anh and Gia Lam districts. — VNS

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