A worker operates machines at the Kim Dong Xuan Textile Factory in Hanoi’s Hai Ba Trung District. (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Hanoi authorities have planned to move polluting facilities from the inner city, however, the process has been delayed, with many companies reluctant to give up their land to authorities and relocate, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

According to plans, polluting facilities’ land in the inner city will be reused for social utilities. As many as 117 facilities in 12 districts in the city are on the list for urgent relocation by 2020. However, up to now, only 32 facilities have compiled plans to move.

According to Hai Ba Trung district’s People’s Committee, authorities asked the Kim Dong Xuan Textile Factory on Minh Khai Street of Vinh Tuy Ward to move following outrage over smoke and cotton dust released to nearby residential quarters. A new factory has been built, however, the company still kept a production line for promotion purposes, with the factory continuing to operate and pollute. The city lacks measures to force these factories to move.

Lam Anh Tuan, Vice Chairman of Hai Ba Trung district’s People’s Committee, said that it was difficult to make enterprises voluntarily hand over land and move. City authorities should assign agencies to force companies to relocate when they have a new location and support to move.

To accelerate the process, the city must issue an administrative decision to force delaying companies like Kim Dong Xuan Textile Company to map out relocation plans or take coercive measures, Tuan said.

While the city has yet to penalise any violating companies, Hai Ba Trung district People’s Committee still conducts regular inspections on environmental protection efforts.

To issue a penalty or cease the companies’ operation, signatures from authorised agencies must be collected. Therefore, punishment is difficult to mete out, Tuan said.

Mai Trong Thai, head of the Environmental Division under Hanoi’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that preparations for land funds to support companies dictate the speed of relocation.

Relocation cannot be completed over a short period of time. The city aims to finish the process by 2020, Thai said.

According to Nguyen Nguyen Quan, head of the Urban Division under Hanoi’s People’s Council, the relocation process has been delayed for various reasons.

Authorised agencies haven’t paid due attention to the relocation and lack mechanisms from the central to local levels to encourage companies to move out. They are also struggling with  finding a balance between benefits of the companies and those of the public, he said.

The city needs to initiate specific mechanisms and figure out open administrative procedures to encourage companies to relocate, he said.-VNA