On the morning of May 21, 2000, I woke up to a scene I had never witnessed before.
Nguyen Trong Binh
An endless stream of people driving motorbikes and cars from various provinces in the Mekong Delta like Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, and An Giang flooded the roads near my sister’s house in Vinh Long Province: They had come to see the inauguration of the My Thuan Bridge.
I was one of them.
Excited at the prospect of seeing the country’s first cable-stayed bridge, one that spans the Tien River, a major branch of the Mekong, to link Vinh Long and Tien Giang, I had gone to my sister’s house, eight kilometers from the bridge, the previous day, and got up early the next day for the inauguration.
With the Red River turning a surprisingly clear blue-green shade in its upstream sections, experts have blamed it on dams and polluting factories.
The Red River flowing through Lao Cai Province in February 2021 is clear and not murky. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Ngoc Trien.
For a week now, the Red River section that flows through Lao Cai Province has become so clear that there are some shallow areas towards the banks where the river bed can be seen at a depth of one meter.
The Red River, over 1,100 km long, originates in China and flows through Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc and Hanoi. The river section that flows through Vietnam is about 510 km long.
Nguyen Thi Lan, a resident of Lao Cai, said the water of the Red River in her town was normally a thick brown color, and if seen from afar, it looked like a pinkish strip.
“It is really strange now that the river has such a clear green shade,” she said.
Locals people swim in the Red River in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Vu Dinh Thuy, deputy director of Lao Cai’s Natural Resources and Environment Department, said this is not the first time the Red River has changed into such a color and this phenomenon has happened around this time of year for the past five years.
“Maybe the reason is that the natural alluvium that has always flowed down naturally from further upstream has been absent; and also northern Vietnam has had no rainfall this season (to muddy the waters).”
Dao Trong Tu, chairman of the Vietnam Rivers Network, also set out two possible reasons for the changes seen in the Red River.
He said a series of hydropower plants and reservoirs operated by China further upstream could have held back alluvium.
The other reason, he said, could be the pollution caused by factories operating in upstream areas and along the banks of the river.
Tu added that theory of pollution would require specific monitoring and study of the water samples to arrive at a final conclusion.Related News:
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the centre of Hanoi should be preserved and developed with a vision to become a Heritage Park, said Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue.
Bac Mon (northern gate) – one of the gates of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photos: VNA
The Hanoi leader said at a working session with its management body – the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre on February 23 that along with the Co Loa Relic Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a precious heritage of Hanoi. He stressed the need to promote the citadel relic site’s values in line with tourism development.
He also underscored the importance of strengthening international cooperation in restoring and promoting the values of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet.
The Centre Sector of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel was recognised as a special national relic site in 2009 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2010. So far, the city has showed strong performance in implementing seven out of eight commitments to the UNESCO and continued realising the commitment in unification of management.
Currently, five projects to restore and develop the site have been underway and planned.
At the meeting, experts, scientists and researchers held that unifying management is a focus of the UNESCO and Vietnam. They advised Hanoi to coordinate with relevant agencies to speed up the hand over of the remaining area of 1,729 hectares and archaeological items, while focusing on prioritsed projects at the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site and the Kinh Thien Palace restoration.
Luu Tran Tieu, Chairman of the National Cultural Heritage Council, suggested that Hanoi should add a number of additional items to the construction of an outdoor museum at the site to draw visitors. VNA
The upcoming National Assembly session, which will take place from March 24 to April 7, will elect a number of positions in the State apparatus for the 2016-2021 term.
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
National Assembly Chair Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at the 53rd session of the 14th National Assembly Standing Committee which concluded on February 23 that the upcoming National Assembly session, which will take place from March 24 to April 7, will elect a number of positions in the State apparatus for the 2016-2021 term.