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Thermal power plant dumps slag, but city officials punish locals

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Thousands of tons of ash and slag from Mong Duong 1 Thermal power Plant in Cam Pha City of Quang Ninh province was dumped into the environment early this month.

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On December 6, Tien Phong newspaper published an article reporting that the plant hired a carrier to dump a big amount of ash and slag. The carrier even threw the waste into people’s houses. The Cam Pha City’s authorities were informed about the case. 

On December 12, the editorial board received a reply from the plant, confirming that the newspaper reported the truth and explained why the waste was not thrown in the right places as ordered by contractors.

As the municipal authorities began their probe and the plant claimed responsibility for the case, everyone believed that the problem would be settled. 

However, the newspaper unexpectedly received a letter from some households in Cam Hai commune, which complained that the local authorities decided to punish them for ‘asking for ash & slag from the thermal power plant to throw into gardens’.

On December 13, Pham Van Kinh, deputy chair of Cam Pha City, whom reporters managed to contact, said that the city had requested the carrier to collect the ash & slag and carry it away to the right places. 

He also confirmed that each household which hired the carrier to throw ash & slag into their gardens has been fined VND15 million.

When asked how the thermal power plant and the carrier would be punished, Kinh said they will not be punished, because ‘the fine, if imposed, will be very high, about VND250 million’.

The underhanded dumping of ash & slag from the Mong Duong 1 plant into the environment has been going on for a long time. The waste has been thrown into sparsely populated areas along Highway No 18, or into locals’ gardens. 

Do Van Ly in Cam Hai commune, who was fined VND10 million, said he cannot understand why he was fined. 

“The ash and slag was dropped everywhere in the environment. I asked for some slag for my garden which is lacking soil. But I did not buy the slag,” he complained.

Ban Van Phuong, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Cam Hai commune, explained to reporters that municipal authorities, not the commune, decided to impose the fine.

On December 14, Cam Pha City sent a document to the Quang Ninh provincial authorities reporting that two households were fined VND28.5 million. 

Meanwhile, Mong Duong 1 has been asked to rehabilitate the environment.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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