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Residents protest against polluting factory in Quảng Nam

Update: July, 12/2017 - 15:00
Locals set camps to protest Việt Pháp Steel Factory for causing pollution. — Photo
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NAM — Residents of Điện Bàn Township in Quảng Nam Province have set up protest camps outside Việt Pháp Steel Factory, objecting to the pollution it is causing, online newspaper Dân Trí reported.

The factory began operations in 2009, and locals have been complaining that since then, they have had to deal with severe noise, air and water pollution. People said the factory recently added a 10pm to 4am daily work shift, so the noise was unceasing now. A local named Thắng said: “Of late, the factory has been operating day and night. We have to cope with loud noise and dark, stinky smoke all the time now.”

For a week now, locals have put up barriers and stopped lorries from going in and out of the factory. They hope to pressurise the factory into shifting out of the residential area.

Nguyễn Thị Hà, one of the residents at the protest camp, said provincial leaders and factory officials had promised to move the factory out of the area by June, but so far the plant has been operating as usual.

Nguyễn Đức Tài, deputy director of Điện Bàn Township’s Industrial Zone Development Centre, told the newspaper that the province had not yet found another location for the factory, so local authorities were persuading people to stop protests, which were causing losses to the factory and putting security in the area at risk.

This is not the first time that locals have protested against the pollution caused by Việt Pháp Steel Factory, which is located in the central province’s Thương Tín Industrial Zone.

Initially, local authorities had asked the factory to reduce its production capacity and put in place measures to reduce pollution. Then, officials had proposed the plan to move it, and a new location in Nam Giang District’s Thạnh Mỹ Township was chosen after an environment impact evaluation was conducted. However, the site has not yet got consensus from all concerned parties.

Also, the factory has demanded financial assistance of VNĐ130 billion (US$5.7 million) for moving premises. — VNS

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