Comprehensive measures to tighten control over mineral exploitation (06:26 14/03/2018)

HNP - Ha Noi has increased management to control illegal exploitation and trade of mineral products in the area. However, there are still violations in the field of mining, in particular infractions of construction material storage sites along the rivers. Therefore, authorities at all levels are required to increase effort and take comprehensive measures to tighten control over the minerals.

Violation is detected after every inspection

According to result of the inspection on construction material storage sites along rivers, Ha Noi currently has 239 storage sites of construction materials at riverside area, covering 262.61 hectares. 162 of them are located on the bank of Red River, 42 others on the bank of the Duong River, 7 on the bank of  the Da River, 7 on the bank of  the Day River, 16 along the Cong River, 3 along the Cau River, and 2 others along the Ca Lo River. Most of the storage sites of construction materials of organizations and individuals sign land rent contract with commune-level government; only 34 storage sites have contracts signed between land tenants and city’s government, and 2 others have contracts between land tenants and district’s government.

It causes difficulties for authorities to manage the sites and state budget revenues, and affects dyke, riverbed and environment.

According to result of inspection conducted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment among 51 organizations and individuals in Ba Vi, Phuc Tho, Soc Son, Me Linh, Gia Lam, Long Bien, Bac Tu Liem districts and Son Tay town in 2018, 5 out of 51 organizations and individuals process legal procedures of land (having approval for land rent given by authorities, and signing land rent contract for storage sites of construction materials); their storage sites cover total area of 105,289 square meters, accounting for 16.5% of total inspection area. They also fulfill their obligation of paying land rent fee according to the regulation of the State.

3 out of  the 51 units, storage sites are partially or wholly residential land of households or individuals; total area is 7,360 square meters, accounting for 1.2% of total inspection area.

43 other units are operating storage sites illegally on the public land under management of People’s Committees at commune level or land for agricultural production purpose; total area is 527,066 square meters, accounting for 82.4% of total inspection area.

38 of the 43 units are using riverside area in public land lot managed by the People’s Committees at commune level, yet they fail to show land lease contract signed between tenants and People’s Committees at commune level.

The People’s Committees of districts and suburban districts usually issue written instruction on increasing inspection and punishment for violations annually, especially during the flood season. The People’s Committees of wards, communes and towns release documents to urge the units to clear construction materials on the storage sites; some localities take measures to prevent illegal actions, such as setting barriers or blocking the way. However, they can only stop the illegal operation of storage sites in a particular time; soon after that, further violations reappear. According to result of inspection, no People’s Committees of wards, communes and towns apply punishment for administrative violations in the field of land or take drastic measures to clear the sites and return them for proper use.

In general, the storage sites licensed by authorities fulfill all legal procedures of environment according to regulation, whereas the illegal ones do not process any procedures of environment. During the transport of construction materials, there is always dust in the surrounding environment. Businesses often use water to handle the dust on way of transport. There is no environmental monitoring on the illegal storage sites; as a result, it is difficult for them to control air pollution caused by the transport.

Control is tightened

As the state managing agency, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment takes measures to overcome the problems and shortcomings, and issues many written instructions to guide organizations, individuals and governments at grassroots level how to tighten control over the mineral exploitation. It also proactively cooperates with other agencies to increase inspection and examination in an effort to prevent illegal exploitation of minerals, and severely punish violators.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment also releases announcement on urging units to tackle problems, strictly follow the license as well as legal regulations on mining, enhance management of the storage sites and stop operation of the illegal ones, thus  rectifying the exploitation of minerals. To realize this target, governments at commune level must closely cooperate with Sections of Natural Resources and Environment to handle violations according to the law on land, in particular the encroachment upon land and improper use of land as storage sites of construction materials, and force  the businesses to clear building materials on illegal sites if they do not take actions themselves.

The People’s Committees of districts and suburban districts take responsibility, if business of the illegal building material storage sites are not handled. The Department of Transport increases management of waterway vehicles in the areas and takes severe punishments for unlawful domestic harbors, thus timely preventing the illegal storage of construction materials on the sites. The Department of Industry and Trade urges more inspection and severe punishments for storage of black sand of unclear origin (black sand of illegal exploitation) on the storage sites along the rivers. The Ha Noi Tax Department increases management of land rent fee collection, and cooperates with related agencies to review the situation according to area and use purpose of riverside land areas. Based on result of the review, the Tax Department in coordination with related departments and sectors will define fee for organizations and individuals that used or have used land as storage sites illegally, and collect the arrears of rent later.

These activities are expected to enhance management of mineral exploitation in Ha Noi, especially management of storage sites of construction materials along rivers, and contribute to boosting sustainably social, economic development of the city.

By Mai Phuong

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