HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi saw an 18 per cent increase in the number of violations of its dyke safety zone in the first six months of this year, according to the municipal Flood, Storm Control and Dyke Management Department.
The 135 safety code violations included the construction of houses, shops, brick-kilns, stores and sand exploitation activities within the dyke safety zone, also known as the "protection corridor," with the largest number of violations, 48, concentrated in Ung Hoa District.
City authorities are still yet to hand down punishments to 124 cases, with some of the accused said to be repeat offenders punished for previous violations.
Violators are said to have discharged construction waste at the Nhat Tan Bridge's lower section in Tay Ho District, with a Kinh te&do thi (Economic and Urban) correspondent reporting the waste had piled up to 6 metres high.
The Nhat Tan Ward People's Committee has since acted to reduce the waste, which now stands between 0.7-1.2 metres, but has struggled to contain illicit dumping activities in the area. Earlier efforts by the district to set up control stations and assign guards have been unable to crack down on the activities.
Yet, district dyke protection units in the city remain committed to limiting the number of future violations. From the beginning of this year, the Thuong Tin and Phu Xuyen authorities joined hands with the Waterway Traffic Police Department to monitor sand exploitation activities along the Hong (Red) River.
Inspections this year saw dozens of ships punished for illegal dredging sand along the river.
Do Duc Thinh, director of the Ha Noi Flood, Storm Control and Dyke Management Department, said that during the remaining six months of the year, the department would ask 18 local protection units to co-ordinate with ministerial bodies to prevent violation and hand down strict penalties.
Thinh has also proposed that the Ha Noi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development seek permission from the municipal People's Committee to build dyke protection corridors.
The Department of Transport would also have to set up signs to limit overloaded vehicles from passing over the dykes, he said. — VNS