|Take it down: Workers remove a part of the illegal walkway built by Tràng An Tourism Company on Cái Hạ Mountain. The company has asked for an extension to the deadline until June 15. — VNA/VNS Photo Đức Phương|
NINH BÌNH — Authorities in Ninh Bình Province have agreed to extend the deadline for dismantling the construction of an illegal walkway on Cái Hạ Mountain, inside the UNESCO heritage site of Tràng An, until June 15.
Tràng An Tourism Company, which initiated the construction, twice promised to completely remove the walkway in May but only 50 per cent of the construction had been removed as of May 31. The company asked for an extension of the deadline until June 15.
The handrail, the bridge between two mountains and many steps have been removed at a slow pace. However, the construction built inside the banned area of Cái Hạ Mountain hasn’t been touched.
The company explained the slow pace had resulted from hot weather and the dangerous locations of the work on the mountain.
“If Tràng An Tourism Company hasn’t removed the walkway by the new deadline, we will direct our forces to remove it according to the law,” said Đinh Chung Phụng, vice chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.
Tràng An Tourism Company last August cut into Cái Hạ Mountain and constructed a staircase leading up to Huyền Vũ Peak. The staircase runs a length of over 1km with 2,000 steps and handrails on both sides to serve tourists.
The company has also constructed supporting facilities like public toilets.
The construction was almost completed after six months and has been open to visitors since this year’s Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Ninh Bình Province’s Tourism Department reported and asked the provincial People’s Committee and Hoa Lư District’s People’s Committee to deal with the violation and remove the walkway. However, the local authorities had been reluctant to deal with the case.
Nguyễn Văn Son, director of Tràng An Tourism Company, promised to remove the walkway by April 30 and then asked for the deadline to be extended to May.
The Tràng An Landscape Complex was listed among World Heritage sites by UNESCO on June 23, 2014.
The complex, a mixed cultural and natural property, covers more than 6,000ha with three areas including the Hoa Lư Ancient Imperial Capital, which was chosen by various kings of the Đinh, early Lê and the beginning of Lý reigns between 968-1009; the Tràng An – Tam Cốc – Bích Động rivers and karst mountains site and Hoa Lư Primitive Forest stretching over the districts of Hoa Lư, Gia Viễn, Nho Quan, Tam Hiệp Town and Ninh Bình City in Ninh Bình Province. — VNS