Environment

September 24, 2021, 1:22 pm

Polluting companies refuse to clean up their act

(15:15:18 PM 26/05/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Punishments ranging from license revocation to criminal charges have done little to deter the operations of a number of production workshops that cause environmental pollution in Ho Chi Minh City.

In the Dong Hung Thuan Ward of District 12, for example, the residents have been living with serious pollution for the last six years.

 

 

“Previously, the production workshops here ran on oil. Though they generated smoke, it was still bearable. However, as petrol and oil prices increased, the workshops began using cashew shells, which produce black smoke and seriously affect the breathing of thousands of people,” said Tran Van Nam, a local resident.

 

“The black smoke is not the only thing we have to live with. The waste water from the workshops is discharged directly into the environment without any treatment. However, our complaints are met with deaf ears from the owners of the workshops,” he said.

 

Van Truong, also a local resident, said the factories nearby generate smoke all year round, forcing people to stay in their homes behind closed doors and curtains.

 

“The smoke always gets thicker in the months before Tet because the factories then have to run at full capacity to make products,” Truong said. “When we asked for compensation, the owners of the factories said they would only pay money if people showed them physicians’ certificates that said the lung diseases were caused by their factories.”

 

“I am afraid that we will die before we can get the certificates,” he complained.

 

Limiting the number of workshops or imposing fines has had no effect, residents have said.

 

According to Ward 12’s local authorities, there are 22 packaging and dyeing workshops in the locality. The workshops were moved to the area from the inner city between 1997 and 2001.

 

Residents believe the workshops should be moved again because the area has now become crowded, with an increasingly high population.

 

Nguyen Toan Thang, a senior official with the locality, said local authorities once tried to move the workshops to Le Minh Xuan and Hiep Phuoc industrial zones. However, the plan failed because there was no room for new production bases in the industrial zones, while the workshops could not meet the zones’ requirements to be admitted there.

 

The HCM City People’s Committee has many times urged the appropriate agencies to take drastic measures to punish the workshops that cause pollution.

 

“It is necessary to revoke operating licenses of these polluters. If you cannot do this, you should ask the city’s People’s Committee to stop the production phases that cause pollution,” said Nguyen Van Lam, deputy head of the HCM City People’s Council’s economics and budget committee.

 

However, Doan Quoc Dung, a senior police official, said that taking action was easier said than done. Citing one example, he said that the responsible agencies had on many occasions asked the authorities of Binh Tan District to revoke the licenses of the dyeing workshops in the Binh Hung Hoa A Ward. However, the workshops remained operational.

 

“We tried to take criminal proceedings against the owners. All they got was a suspended sentence,” he said.

Source: PL TPHCM
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