|Locals drill an illegal well in Ha Noi. The city's Natural Resources and Environment Department yesterday asked local authorities to strictly enforce the law when residents illegally dig water wells. — VNS File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi City's Natural Resources and Environment Department yesterday asked local authorities to strictly enforce the law when residents illegally dig water wells.
The move aims to prevent illegal drilling of wells and underground water use, which recently caused land to shift in the city's outskirts.
"Local residents in outlying districts have, for many years, made a habit of exploiting underground water sources for their daily use, as well as breeding and cultivation. They often hire private drilling firms operating without licenses, which caused land to shift in the area," said Deputy Director of the department Nguyen Trong Le.
Additionally, numerous houses in Le Thanh Commune in the city's My Duc District have had wall crack after Do Van Giang, a local resident, hired a private drilling company to bore a well 40 meters deep at his house on February 18, according to Le.
The cracks measured one centimetre wide and three to four metres in length. The concrete inter-commune road also suffered damage, Le said.
The city's Natural Resources and Environment Department asked the district's People's Committee to evacuate residents of affected households and their property to safety as soon as the incident occurred.
The departments' staffs also conducted inspections to check buildings and keep a close watch on the cracks.
"In accordance with the rule of the city People's Committee, local households must register to be allowed underground water usage. Well drilling must be conducted by organisations or individuals licensed to perform this work," Le said.
My Duc authorities were asked to move quickly to handle Giang's violation and to investigate the private well drilling firm hired by Giang, as well as tighten management of underground water usage to prevent illegal drilling in the area.
This is the third time there has been land shifting caused by illegal water drilling in the district, Le said.
In late 2010, the People's Committees in the city's districts were also asked to strengthen enforcement to halt the illegal drilling of water.
However, underground water drilling is still common in some districts, such as Quoc Oai, Chuong My, and My Duc. — VNS