Chairman of northern Vietnam province intimidated for putting brakes on sand exploitation

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 03/16/2017 16:45 GMT + 7

The chairman of the People’s Committee in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh has been the victim of threats since launching a campaign to end harmful sand exploitation in a local river.

Nguyen Tu Quynh, chairman of the provincial administration, has sent a letter notifying the prime minister that he and other officers had been threatened for ending a sand dredging project in the Cau River, an 83 kilometer long waterway snaking through Bac Ninh and Bac Giang Provinces.

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday, Chairman Quynh stated he had asked the Ministry of Public Security to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the investors behind the detrimental project.

According to the official, three sand exploitation projects along the waterway were approved in 2014 and executed by the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration (VIWA).

Ha Luu Company, the contractor hired by VIWA to carry out one of the three, was found to be taking advantage of the project to illegally exploit sand, causing serious damage to local dams and riverbanks.

The damage was only exacerbated by local sand thieves also operating in the area, according to the official.

It cost the provincial People’s Committee about VND30 billion (US$1.3 million) to fix the environmental impacts of the project, resulting in the committee putting a ban on similar projects since 2015.

However, a dredging project reappeared in November 2016, with around 40 boats operating on a daily basis, sparking concern from the local public over its threats to the environment.

“Our probe revealed that the People’s Committee in Bac Giang Province approved the plan to be carried out until the end of 2017,” the Bac Ninh’s chairman stated.

Officials threatened

Chairman Quynh confirmed to Tuoi Tre he himself had been threatened after trying to interfere with the project.

However, the official refused to reveal further details of the threats and intimidation experienced by him and other officers.

“We have informed the prime minster of the situation. As competent authorities are probing our case, we cannot provide further information regarding the threats,” he elaborated.

Aside from the investigation, the province’s leader has also requested the Ministry of Transport to conduct an evaluation on the river dredging project.

He quoted the suggestion of the Bac Ninh People’s Committee to cease the project due to its negative effects on the environment.

According to the chairman, the fact that the project developer and local sand thieves operate at the same time is creating a significant challenge for competent agencies to identify and prevent the crimin

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This entry was posted in Môi trường - Environment, Sand mining - hút cát and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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