December 3, 2021, 4:19 am

Café, restaurants, street shops poisoning Hanoi’s lakes Tin ảnh

(15:22:53 PM 26/07/2013)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Hanoians fear that the West Lake and Truc Bach, the two lakes considered as the symbols of Hanoi, would disappear one day as a result of the private business boom.


The West Lake.


The side areas of the West Lake and Truc Bach have been occupied by street shops and restaurants full of people all the day which discharge garbage. The lakes, called the green lungs of the city, are getting more seriously polluted.


Every house on the West Lake side area is either a tea shop or a restaurant. Clients can be served inside the houses, on the pavement, or the flower garden, whatever they want, because the public places like the flower garden have also been appropriated by the shops’ owners and become “private.”


Tu Hau, the owner of a street seafood shop, said she opens the shop from early afternoon until midnight. This is the time the local shops “are allowed” to open to receive customers. “This is the unwritten law that everyone has to pursue to exist,” she explained.


Like many other café, drinks or seafood shops here, Hau is “allowed” to open the shop after paying a certain sum of money to the “VIPs.”


“My shop is small, so I have to pay VND1 million a month,” Hau said, adding that bigger shops which can make bigger money, would have to pay more to the VIPs.


The same situation can be seen on the Truc Bach Lake area. Café, restaurants have been mushrooming, which have occupied the lakeside and pavements. The beer shops here have become the favorite places for the Hanoi’s drinkers to gather. Of course, the restaurants’ owners also have to give briberies to VIPs to be able to use the public places. However, the “fees” are much smaller than the profits they expect.


Big lakes will disappear in Hanoi?


The development of the private business has led to the upgrading of the famous lakes. Analysts have warned that the pollution of the lakes has become alarming. It’s because the garbage and waste water from the shops and restaurants have been discharged to the lakes everyday.


The company in charge of collecting and treating the West Lake’s waste everyday collects hundreds of kilos of fruit peels, plastic bags and seafood shells on a small stretch of road from the Van Cao to Vong Thi Street.


Those who enter the Ngu Xa No. 3 residential quarter would have to cross the Ngu Xa canal with black water and floating plastic bags. The waste from the beer and food shops nearby has been piled up for the last many years, thus causing a polluted atmosphere to the region.


Of the 120 lakes in the 6 districts in Hanoi, according to CECR, an environment research center, 80 have been seriously polluted, while the other 40 have been polluted at medium level. 71 percent of the lakes have been found as having the BOD5 exceeding the permitted level (>15mg/l), 14 percent of lakes have been heavily organic contaminated, while 32 percent more slightly.


According to Le Thu Ha from the Hanoi National University, the West Lake, Thu Le and Hoan Kiem Lakes have been polluted because of the biodegradable organic matters. The pH levels at most of the lakes are overly high -- 8.1-10.2. This explains why over the last five years, fishes died at Truc Bach, many fishes at the West Lake have disappeared, and many lakes in Hanoi have turned grey because of the dirty water and toxic algae.

Thien Nhien

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