VietNamNet Bridge – Sand exploitation brings huge profits even higher than that brought by illegal logging. Experts say.
At a working session with Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung, local officials in the Mekong Delta asked for the right to exploit sand on a riverbed without consulting with local residents.
Under current law, to collect minerals, individuals and organizations must submit reports on the possible impact on the environment, and to dredge passage, they must consult with the local community.
Local authorities said nearly all residents will say ‘no’ to the investors’ proposal to exploit sand for fear of landslides.
As a result, construction projects lack sand and the sand price has soared by 200-300 percent in the last month.
In reply, Deputy PM said local authorities must fight against unapproved sand exploitation which may affect the river current and riverbank and damage people’s assets.
The fight between people and sand miners, who are encouraged by huge profits, has become violent. Two people in Vinh Long province were hospitalized some days ago because they were assaulted by the miners.
|The fight between people and sand miners, who are encouraged by huge profits, has become violent. Two people in Vinh Long province were hospitalized some days ago because they were assaulted by the miners.|
“Sand is… rice,” a reporter, who secretly watched over sand exploitation activities on Tien River said, saying that miners would be ready to fight if their activities were blocked.
Explaining the profit that sand exploiters make, he said at the sand mines on rivers, boat owners buy sand at VND40,000 per cubic meter, while they sell sand to the owners of building material shops at VND90,000 per cubic meter.
Meanwhile, people have to pay no less than VND170,000 per cubic meter.
The companies, which have licenses to exploit sand, have to pay VND600 to the state budget for every cubic meter of sand exploited in Vinh Long.
There are 28 sand mines licensed so far in the province with the total exploitation output of 3.6 cubic meters per annum.
Analysts believe the profit from sand exploitation is even higher than from logging. In principle, sand miners have to register with local authorities the exploitation output, but no one inspects how much they exploit.
The Can Tho City Police has seized tens of freighters carrying more than 10,000 cubic meters of sand, but the owners of the freighters could not show the documents to prove the origin of the sand.
Analysts also believe that sand miners are backed by underground forces.
When Bac Ninh province’s chair rejected a plan on dredging Duong River, he received a menacing message from a man named Nguyen Trong Phuong in Hanoi.