|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered the People’s Committee of Tiền Giang Province in the Mekong Delta to respond to local reports that a section of the Tiền River was filled in to build a nearly 10-ha fruit park in the province’s Cái Bè District.— Photo tuoitre.vn
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered the People’s Committee of Tiền Giang Province in the Mekong Delta to respond to local reports that a section of the Tiền River was filled in to build a nearly 10-ha fruit park in the province’s Cái Bè District.
If any violation is discovered, the committee must respond according to relevant regulations, Phúc said.
The move came after the online newspaper VnExpress published an article on October 31 detailing the construction of the fruit park in the district.
According to the report, construction started about six months ago after developers got a green light from the provincial People’s Committee.
The article said local residents became worried that the construction could change the flow of the river after a section was filled in to create more land for building the park. Residents feared it would worsen the risk of landslides along the river’s bank.
According to local media reports, the 9.78ha project includes 6.8 ha that must be built over the river. The investor of the VNĐ375.5 billion ($16.5 million) project is the People’s Committee of Cái Bè District. It is estimated that over 434,618 tonnes of sand will ultimately be used for filling in a section of the river. By early November, the constructor had already finished piling concrete poles along the length of the project and made embankments, preparing to use sand to backfill Tiền River.
In a related movement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on November 1 sent an urgent legal document, signed by Deputy Minister Nguyễn Linh Ngọc, to ask the provincial People’s Committee halt the construction of the fruit park.
Additionally, the committee and relevant agencies were directed to re-evaluate the project’s environmental impact assessment, especially, with regard to its potential effects on drainage and flood prevention efforts. The ministry also required the agencies to consider carefully the project’s implementation of regulations on land, environment and water resources.
The document said the provincial People’s Committee approved the project on October, 31, 2016 and the initial environmental impact assessment report had evaluated the project’s impacts on the river’s flow.
However, the ministry said the content of the evaluation under the report lacked the comments of the Department of Water Resources Management, which are necessary because Tiền River flows through multiple provinces.— VNS