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Beach upgrade project may lose local labourers their jobs

Update: October, 19/2015 - 08:30
Fishermen at Sam Son Beach in Thanh Hoa Province. About 10,000 labourers, including fishermen, are worried about losing their jobs if a project to upgrade the beach is given the green light. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh

THANH HOA (VNS) — About 10,000 labourers working as tourism service suppliers and fishermen along Sam Son Beach in Thanh Hoa Province, are concerned that they would likely lose their jobs if a project to upgrade the beach gets approval.

The project, worth more than VND220 billion (US$9.8 million), would upgrade the 3.5km long beach along Ho Xuan Huong Road into a complex tourism zone. The zone is divided into 12 areas such as public seaside resort, public park, entertainment area, sea port area and shopping areas.

The project is planned to eliminate more than 50 kiosks providing tourism services along the seaside and relocate four sea ports in Quang Cu Commune and the wards of Trung Son, Bac Son and Truong Son.

This will directly affect about 10,000 local labourers, who are earning their living only by trading at kiosks and selling sea food after going offshore.

Van Dinh Cuong, owner of a fishing boat in Truong Son Ward said he could raise his eight-member family thanks to fishing, just like his father and grand-father.

"I'm really worried," he said. "I don't know whether the new locations of ports are convenient for ships to go in and out."

"I hope that they (the authority) will consider it carefully," he said.

Currently, there are 700 fishing vessels operating on the beach.

Nguyen Tien Dung, one of 51 kiosk owners on the seaside, said he also hoped that the authority would support kiosk owners to continue their jobs after the beach upgrade has been completed.

"I don't know what I will do to earn money if I have no kiosk," he said.

The 51 kiosks create jobs for about 6,000 local labourers during tourism seasons.

In reply to questions on the project, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Trinh Van Chien spoke to Viet Nam News that the committee has called upon investors to implement the project.

Earlier this month, an enterprise has submitted their upgrading plan and offered to invest in the project. The provincial authority would consider the approval of the plan next week.

"The beach is and will always be under the committee's management, including its safety, security and environment. Investors must commit to keeping the natural beach open for the public as it is currently if they want their projects approved," he said.

Ngo Hoang Ky, chief secretariat of the provincial People's Committee said that the key targets of the upgrade were to create the best tourism environment and curb rip-offs.

The committee had asked the enterprise to give a specific plan of every square metre of the area to avoid dodging the law to make a profit.

In reply to questions about local labourers, Ky said investors must commit to train and recruit them to work in this project. The upgrade would bring better services and attract more tourists, thus more jobs would also be created for locals.

The Sam Son Town's People's Committee has been assigned to study new locations for ports. They would be in charge of compensating affected fishermen due to the relocation of the ports, he added. — VNS

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