|Sand mining on the Thị Vải River in the southern province of Đồng Nai. — Photo dantri.vn|
The four projects are: dredging on the inland waterway of Thái Thiện stream from Thị Vải River to Kim Nhật inland wharf (Phước Thái Commune, Long Thành District); dredging on Ông Trung channel (Phước Tân and Tam Phước communes, Biên Hoà City); dredging and clearing of Buông River and Bến Gỗ River (Phước Tân and Tam Phước communes, Biên Hoà City); and dredging and operating inland waterway on Đồng Kho River (Phước An Commune, Nhơn Trạch District).
The department, greenlit by the provincial People’s Committee, has ordered the businesses to clear all their machinery, equipment and workers off their premises and return the premises.
The department’s inspectors in collaboration with Đồng Nai police and the people’s committees of the four mentioned districts have been instructed to monitor the process, making public the information they have, and deal with those who are not cooperating.
In all, there are 13 sand mining and dredging projects that have got permissions, of which now four have been asked to close down. The nine other projects have got licences from the transport ministry, but according to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, only three are ongoing; the other six have either not begun or have already concluded.
The department said that the sand mining and dredging projects concentrated heavily on the mining, exploiting natural resources for profit, but dredging, which is more important environmentally, is largely ignored. Irresponsible, unregulated sand mining causes severe erosions on the riverbanks, and threaten the safety and livelihood of local residents.
The suspension order has come amidst reports and public concern over illegal sand mining projects operating all over the country. Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình earlier this month said that cover-ups and collusion that let such businesses operate are unacceptable and would be punished. — VNS