|Construction waste illegally discharges along Hà Nội's Thăng Long Boulevard. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — Littering in public areas has been a problem for many years in big cities and Hà Nội is no exception.
Abandoned waste piles still exist on many roads, according to the municipal Department of Construction, and authorities at all levels have failed to effectively prevent this.
Domestic and construction waste is seen dumped on the pavements, especially on roads such as Thăng Long Boulevard, or along riverbank dike sections in some communes and ward of Hoài Đức, Hà Đông and Thanh Oai districts, vietnamplus online newspaper reported.
Large amounts of waste are piled up several metres high on the sides of roads.
Even in Ba Đình District, one of the main districts of Hà Nội, with a high population density, dumping waste still occurs along roads such as Đê La Thành and Bưởi.
According to a representative of a group specialising in transporting waste for construction projects, they often sign a contract with construction works owners to dump rubbish for VNĐ10,00-20,000 per bag of waste and this work is often done at night or early morning to avoid detection.
After signing the contract, the head of the group will hire some workers to transport waste by motorbikes to empty land plots.
Nguyễn Văn Toàn, head of a unit of the Hà Nội Urban Environment One Member Co Ltd (URENCO), said it was difficult to deal with the problem.
The cleaning of illegally dumped waste was very hard due to the large volume and cumbersome rubbish, requiring more staff and equipment, Toàn said.
About 1,000 tonnes of waste has been discharged in public places in Ba Đình District so far this year.
Toàn said the unit was not responsible for punishing violators who have been discovered, saying that was the job of the police and local government.
According to URENCO's leader, from the beginning of the year, the company has worked with authorities to detect dozens of people who littered construction waste on Thăng Long Boulevard.
However, that is only a drop in the bucket and URENCO has repeatedly petitioned the environmental police and local authorities to take measures to solve the problem.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Tuấn Phương from Hà Nội Police's Environmental Police Division said they will strengthen patrols to detect violations to ensure environmental sanitation.
In September and October, inspectors of the Hà Nội Department of Construction worked with local forces to conduct inspections in Nam Từ Liêm District and handle 56 administrative violations, with total fines of VNĐ202.4 million (US$8,730).
According to the construction department, about 2,500-3,000 tonnes of solid waste is discharged by construction sites in Hà Nội daily.
Some of this waste is taken to four landfills in Đông Anh and Thường Tín districts. However, these landfills are already overloaded.
Communication campaigns to raise public awareness of environmental protection and classification of solid waste by households, as well as guidance, inspection and handling of violations in demolition, collection, transportation, and treatment of construction solid waste in districts and towns, has not been implemented regularly, according to the construction department.
The department has suggested the local administration should strengthen inspection, supervision and request all construction sites to comply with the regulations on environmental protection. — VNS