|Illegal land mining has been popular in northern Thái Nguyên Province. Photo nhandan.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI – Illegal land mining has been rampant in northern Thái Nguyên Province due to high demand of land levelling for infrastructure construction and high profit despite efforts by local authorities.
The demand for soil as levelling materials for construction of residential areas or commercial complex has increased in the past several years. In Phú Bình District, soil can be sold at between VNĐ50,000-60,000 (US$2-2.3) per cubic metre. Many hills have been damaged for soil.
Chairman of Tân Hoà Commune’s People’s Committee said to Nhân Dân (People) online newspaper that the soil mining started in 2016 when a man was licensed to exploit soil for rural traffic construction works.
However, the man took advantage of this to exploit soil from many hills and sell it for profit.
The same situation occurs in Phổ Yên Commune. Soil has been stored in the area near a local waste treatment plant and transported to neighbouring areas for sale.
Lê Thị Thu, a resident living near the area said large trucks carrying land ran in and out of the area all day and night, polluting the environment and damaging the roads.
In Tân Hoà Commune, local residents blocked the road to protest the transport of soil.
A resident who wished to be anonymous said the Sông Công 2 Industrial Zone was the area for storing thousands of cubic metres of soil. Big trucks carrying soil in and out of the area, threatening the safety of local people and polluting the air.
The provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment had inspected the transport of soil in the industrial zone, but the situation has not been solved.
The provincial People’s Committee has asked the Phú Bình District’s People’s Committee to inspect and fine violators. However, due to light fines, which ranges several millions of đồng, the illegal soil exploitation has remained popular.
Last November, Nguyễn Thế Anh was fined VNĐ3.5 million ($151) for illegal soil mining in Đồng Hỷ District’s Hoá Thượng Commune. The man was asked to stop all the mining activities. However, he assumed the mining until the local authority launched another crackdown on the illegal mining in mid December.
Local residents said they had reported the situation to the provincial authority and waited for replies. — VNS