Illegal sand mining to be punished
Laïi Hoàng Thanh, deputy director of the Vieät Nam General Department of Geology and Minerals, under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, speaks to (Youth) newspaper about measures to manage the exploitation of sand
and pebbles from river beds
Sand exploitation can cause erosion in a neighbouring locality. How will this problem be settled?
In the draft decree, we have stated clearly the need to have close-co-ordination and co-operation among people’s committees of all provinces sharing the river basin. We realise that planning is only a part of the task of a regional goal which requires the involvement of many different stakeholders. As a result, the exploitation of river sand is just a part of regional planning work.
Vieät Nam has more than 300 river basins nationwide which are shared by at least two provinces. To avoid problems, the Government has come up with a co- operation mechanism for localities that share the same river. Based on the environmental impact assessment on the exploitation of each river, the Government will come up with a plan on how to exploit the river’s potentials for each province. Does the draft decree have any sanctions for senior officials who fail to perform their duties properly?
The draft includes sanctions for senior officers who fail to perform their duties. There are three levels of punishment depending on the nature of the incident – reprimand, warning and demotion.
The draft also states clearly that heads of provincial people’s committees are given the right to punish subordinates who have failed to accomplish their duties at both district and communal levels.
Do you think the measures outlined in the draft will put a halt to the “acute” problem of “sand pirates”?
I can’t say for sure that we will win the battle against “sand pirates”, but we’ll try to do our best to create positive changes in the exploitation of sand from rivers. I also hope we will receive public support for our efforts. — VNS