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Housing project threat to river basin ecology

Update: September, 01/2015 - 08:19
An overview of Dong Nai River. A group of environmentalists has asked authorised agencies to cancel a residential project, claiming it would damage land adjacent to the river. — Photo by

HA NOI (VNS) — A Vietnamese environmental watchdog group has reiterated its call for the permanent shutdown of a large residential project in Dong Nai province, just north of HCM City.

The Viet Nam River Network said the 8.4 hectares project would damage adjacent Dong Nai River, blocking natural flows and drainage of floodwater and triggering erosion of the river's bank.

The project also creates danger to waterway traffic and encroaches on public areas, the group said.

The project's developer, Toan Thinh Phat JSC, began filling in a stretch of the river in January near the city of Bien Hoa. Following a wave of criticism from scientists, agencies and local residents, the developer halted the project in late March.

In June, the Prime Minister approved a suggestion by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to have an environmental impact assessment report done on the project.

The Ministry has recently allowed another EIA report to be prepared after a group of scientists working as advisors for environmentalists pointed out that a first EIA report by the HCM City Institute of Environment and Natural Resourceswas copied from another report.

The conservation of the river, which is among the biggest river systems in Viet Nam, is crucial for the ecology of 11 provinces in its basin and the social development of these localities, the watchdog group added. — VNS

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