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Loose management facilitates illegal soil exploitation

Update: December, 16/2016 - 09:00
The road leading to the illegal soil exploitation area in Sóc Sơn District, Hà Nội, is barricaded with wires. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Khánh
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI  Unclear management responsibility of land in the capital city’s Sóc Sơn District has given way to illegal soil exploitation. 

A large amount of soil has been illegally exploited in the district over the last few years, but it was only discovered at the beginning of this month.

On December 5, the Hà Nội police caught red-handed three diggers digging soil in an area barricaded with wires and 19 heavy duty dump trucks transporting the soil to other places for consumption. 

The illegally exploited area looked like a 25-30m deep coal mine, with a track on one side for the trucks that came to transport the soil. 

According to the province’s People’s Committee, the 1,2ha illegally exploited area belongs to Xuân Bách Village of Quang Tiến Commune.

However, since it lies next to an area of defence land owned by Regiment 921, there is confusion about who is responsible for managing the area.

When the exploitation activities were first uncovered in October last year, the committee sent official documents to the regiment to remind the unit to control the exploitation. 

The committee also assigned the People’s Committee of Quang Tiến Commune to tighten inspection of the area, penalise the parties flouting regulations and put an end to the illegal activities. However, the illegal soil exploitation continued.

Nguyễn Văn Thi, vice chairman of the Quang Tiến People’s Committee, refused to answer questions about the measures undertaken to manage soil exploitation activities in the commune.

On the origin of the illegally exploited area, Nguyễn Văn Toàn, deputy head of the province’s Department of Environmental Resources, said it was originally under the management of Regiment 921 under the Air and Air Defence Force until 1980, following which the regiment handed it over to a local household in Quang Tiến Commune in exchange for another piece of land.

There was no legal documentation of the exchange, Toàn said.

Vương Văn Bút, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said the province will work to clarify management measures of land owned by the defence, as regulated in Government’s Decree No. 43 in 2014, with the defence units.

For long-term solutions, Bút said the city’s Environment and Natural Resources Department should collaborate with the Air and Air Defence Force to clarify boundaries of the lands to facilitate local land management.  VNS

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