|The overloaded sand trucks had damaged 22.5km of the 296km of asphalted and concreted first-class to third-class dyke roads in the province. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
THANH HOA (VNS) — Urgent, tough action is needed to prevent sand-mining businesses and sand-carrying trucks from damaging dyke routes in Thanh Hoa, says Nguyen Trong Hai, director of the province's Dyke Management and Flood Control Department.
A recent report by news website Vietnamnet.vn cited him as saying law enforcement agencies should penalise and revoke business licences of those responsible for overloading and using oversized trucks.
Hai said that overloaded sand trucks had damaged 22.5km of the 296km of asphalted and concreted first-class to third-class dyke roads in the province.
Dyke roads are typically split into five classes based on several criteria including the area they protect, with the fifth class being the lowest.
The trucks were leaving sand on the road, causing asphalt and concrete surfaces to peel off and creating pot holes, Hai said. He said local residents were having to repair the routes by filling the holes with rock and dirt to prevent road accidents.
He also said that the trucks typically exceeded the maximum allowed vehicle loading capacity of 12 and 10 tonnes on asphalt and concrete dyke roads, respectively.
He said the number of trucks using and damaging dyke routes had increased because sand-mining businesses were overloading and oversizing their vehicles to earn larger incomes.
Since the police had tightened control over overloaded and oversized trucks on main roads, the trucks were avoiding them and taking roads running along the river.
Hai said he was concerned that all dyke routes in the province would soon be damaged if law enforcement agencies failed to come up with comprehensive solutions.
The province, district authorities and people have implemented several measures but were still finding it difficult to deal the problem, he added.
Le Anh Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Thanh Hoa People's Committee, said that the provincial administration has allowed districts to build size and load control structures on main dyke routes, establish hotlines and empowered commune police to seize overloaded and oversized trucks.
However, Le Huy Hoang, Vice Chairman of the Tho Xuan People's Committee, said that law enforcement teams were not able to solve the problem because the trucks were often used late at night.
District authorities have also found it difficult to manage sand mining business because all three licensed ones were located in the same area, while many illegal mines were located along the river, Hoang added.
Trinh Ngoc Minh, the Chief Inspector of the Thanh Hoa Transport Department, said that his office has established control stations on important dyke routes.
He said his department had imposed fines of VND500 million (US$23,800) last month and reduced the number of overloaded and oversized trucks plying the province's roads.
However, control stations could only deal with important sites, and district and commune authorities had to take full responsibility for monitoring and preserving dyke roads in their locations because funding for this had already been disbursed to those administrations, he said. — VNS