|Attendees at the 11th meeting of the Đồng Nai River’s Environmental Protection Committee discuss solutions for environmental protection in the Đồng Nai River basin at a meeting yesterday in HCM City. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc|
HCM CITY — The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment has asked authorities in HCM City and 10 provinces to develop a master plan on effective management of water resources and environmental protection in the Đồng Nai River basin.
Speaking at the 11th meeting of Đồng Nai River’s Environmental Protection Committee held yesterday in HCM City, the deputy minister of Natural Resource and Environment, Võ Tuấn Nhân, said the Đồng Nai River basin was one of the country’s largest basins.
“The master plan has to ensure harmonious socio-economic development in each province and city as well as environmental protection,” he said.
The development of hydroelectric plants, industrial parks, urban areas, and other infrastructure should be noted to ensure that it matches the load capacity of the river system.
“Environmental protection has to be considered an important activity which cannot be ignored. Pollution of the Đồng Nai river can only be solved when all localities carry out their plans well," he said.
Local authorities should allocate significant capital to speed up the construction process of water and solid-waste treatment systems in urban areas and industrial parks as well as complexes, Nhân said.
Since last year, the proportion of urban areas in HCM City with water drainage and waste water treatment works rose from 13.2 per cent to 21 per cent, helping to improve water quality and the environment in the basin. The proportion in Bình Dương Province increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent.
More inspections of establishments should be conducted, and those causing pollution should be fined, he said.
Đinh Quốc Thái, chairman of Đồng Nai Province People’s Committee, said the committee would continue to look for the best solutions for protection of water sources and problems in the management of the basin.
The provinces and HCM City in the basin have carried out many activities to maintain quality of the Đồng Nai river system. They have invested in a system to monitor the water environment.
Next year, they will set up centres to receive data from automatic waste water monitoring stations.
A project on environmental protection in the Đồng Nai River basin until 2020 has been approved, Nhân said, adding that the committee was set up to guide and co-ordinate the project.
Rapid urbanisation and economic growth in the basin have caused water pollution, at times at alarming levels.
The 10 provinces in the area include Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Long An, Tây Ninh, Lâm Đồng, Đắk Nông, Ninh Thuận and Bình Thuận. — VNS