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Illegal sand mining returns to Tien River

Update: December, 23/2015 - 20:15
Illegal sand mining along Tien River in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Tien Giang province has been running rampant in recent days. — Photo vov.vn

TIEN GIANG (VNS) — After a period of calm, the illegal sand mining in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Tien Giang province has been running rampant in recent days.

Residents in My Tho City's Thoi Son Islet feared that the reason for the increasing landslides along the Tien River are due to sand mining activities near the shore.

Despite being banned by local authorities, illegal sand mining groups from this province and Ben Tre province are still operating here.

Nguyen Van Tang, a resident of Thoi Son Commune's Thoi Thuan Village in My Tho City, who lives near the Tien River, said a number of large, unknown barges often come there at night and dig up sand near the shore.

He expressed concern over the effect of the activities on the dyke which needed to be repaired each year.

He also suggested to local authorities that they initiate measures to prohibit sand mining and strictly deal with violations.

Illegal sand mining also occurred in other areas along the river such as the coastal dunes in Cai Lay District's Tan Phong-Ngu Hiep, Cai Be District's Tron islet, and an area near My Thuan Bridge.

To cope with the situation, the provincial authorities have asked inspectors from the Natural Resources and Environment Department to co-ordinate with the waterway traffic police and environmental police to step up patrolling and tackle such violations.

Concerned agencies have so far this year organised about 100 unscheduled inspections and detected 56 cases of illegal sand mining.

Tran Thanh Duc, deputy chairman of Tien Giang Province's People Committee, said the illegal exploitation was causing headaches for local authorities and it was becoming extremely difficult to stop.

He said the province would set up task forces to deal with violations and would work with neighbouring provinces like Ben Tre and Vinh Long in coping with illegal sand mining. 

Tien Giang Province has 33 sand mines with 1,600ha and a reserve of over 37 million cu.m. — VNS 

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