|Excessive sand mining has caused landslides along Đồng Nai River. — VNA/VNS Photo Đậu Tất Thành|
BÌNH PHƯỚC — Authorised agencies of southern Bình Phước Province have discovered 15 cases of illegal sand mining so far this year along the upstream section of Đồng Nai River that flows through the province, provincial police announced on Tuesday.
Authorised forces temporarily seized 11 sand exploitation boats and over 431cu.m of sand. Violators were fined over VNĐ500 million (US$21,400).
Local authorities have expressed concern about illegal sand exploitation along the river, which has caused landslides in some areas.
Severe landslides along the Đồng Nai River forced the two provinces the river flows through, Đồng Nai and Lâm Đồng, to suspend all sand mining activities – including licensed projects – for three months leading up to the end of last year.
Overexploitation of sand in the Đồng Nai River has deformed the riverbed, which has changed the water flow and eroded river banks, causing hundreds of thousands of square metres of soil to fall into the river.
According to a report issued last year by the Lâm Đồng People’s Committee, landslides on the Đồng Nai riverbanks affected at least 11.75 hectares in Cát Tiên District alone, with more than 107,500sq.m of soil disappearing in Quảng Ngãi Commune. Phước Cát 1 and Phước Cát 2 communes have lost 1,200sq.m and 8,800sq.m, respectively.
In May, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình ordered local authorities to tighten control over sand and gravel exploitation in order to manage agricultural land and protect forests. — VNS