|A view of the Dong Nai River. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will ask the Government to postpone a controversial urban development project on the banks of the river. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Tuyen
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MoNRE) will ask the Government to postpone a controversial urban development project on the Dong Nai riverbank.
A report on how the project would affect the river was "scientifically baseless," Department of Water Resources Management Head Hoang Van Bay said at the ministry's monthly press conference on Monday.
The project would have involved pouring tonnes of rocks and sand into the Dong Nai River to make land for a residential area. But the report's conclusion that the project wouldn't harm the river was unconvincing, Bay said.
The project's environmental impact report was not properly researched, he said. It lacked fundamental content and included unclear information that "did not provide a sufficient basis to accurately measure the effects of the project on the water flow, flooding and drainage." The statistics provided were also short and incoherent.
Though the environmental impact report was written by the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research and examined later by the Water Resources University, it had not yet asked MoNRE for a final consultation. It also hadn't addressed the other 11 provinces located on the Dong Nai River Basin, which would also be affected by changes in the river.
Bay said the ministry would hire an independent consultant to research, assess and measure the possible environmental impacts before the project's fate would be decided. In the meantime, it will be temporarily suspended.
The HCM City People's Committee also voiced out its opposition to the project, fearing it could cause a water shortage.
Millions of HCM City residents are expected to face a shortage of clean water, as their supply is pumped from the river near where the project is based.
The Dong Nai riverside residential project began in September last year with total investment of more than US$148.8 million.
On March 28 the project's investor decided to suspend construction following waves of criticism from scientists, experts and residents. — VNS