Vietnam: Illegal Dredging Along Saigon River Causes Major Problems

The Vietnam Net reports that the authorities have failed to put an end to the illegal sand exploitation taking place along sections of the Saigon River near Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Tay Ninh Provinces.

At midnight on May 26, a Sai Gon Giai Phong reporter was present at the river’s bank in An Nhon Tay Commune in Cu Chi District in HCMC. He found the area abuzz with noisy machinery involved in dredging sand.

Six boats were anchored near the river’s edge. Each was filled with sand every half hourly interval. After transporting the sand to a spot in Ben Cat District of Binh Duong Province, the boats returned for yet another refill.

Within just two hours, the sand dredgers had filled 24 boats, each transporting 9-10 cubic metres of sand.

The illicit sand exploitation has taken place in other communes like Trung An, Phu Hoa Dong, Phu My Hung, Ben Dinh, An Phu and Hoa Phu in the district.

Nguyen Van Teo, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in An Nhon Tay Commune, said that they have tried lots of measures but still failed to stop illegal sand exploitation in the Saigon River.

The commune’s river area is neighboring Tay Ninh and Binh Duong Provinces. When uncovered, the dredgers quickly move to areas under management of the two provinces. HCMC officials thus cannot nab them, said Teo.

Nguyen Thanh Nguyen, head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Cu Chi District, said that they don’t have enough human resources to deal with sand dredgers who always seek out sophisticated ways to flee.

[mappress]

Dredging Today Staff, June 5, 2012;

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