A boat sucking sand from the Red River’s bed in Hanoi’s Long Bien district (Souce: VNA) 
Hanoi (VNA) - Stricter punishments are needed for violations of waterway traffic safety, illegal mineral exploiting and dyke safety in Hanoi, said Nguyen The Hung, deputy chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee in a recent conference held in the capital.

Speaking at the May 9 conference assessing results of an inspection on the issues in the city, Hung said that if strict measures were not taken, violations would increase and become more serious and.

In the future, the Hanoi Police will be key in checking and fining violators related to waterway traffic safety. The police should act as advisors for the municipal people’s committee to help the committee ensure traffic safety, he said.

Nguyen Xuan Hai, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Dyke Management and Flood Control, said that the most serious problem at present was construction firms gathering materials near the dyke systems, affecting safety.

By the end of last month, the city had more than 200 construction materials gathering grounds, which were about 200ha, along the Hong (Red), Duong and Cong rivers in 16 districts and towns of the city. Only 35 of them were licensed.

Nguyen Van Hung, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that another problem was companies illegally sucking sand from the river bed using a pump at bordering areas of districts causing difficulties for inspection.

Kieu Quang Phuong, head of the Ba Vi District Police, said that the police at present lack specific tools and vehicles to check boats and ships. The police also did not have ship drivers or have places to impound vehicles.

In March and April this year, the municipal police fined more than 4,900 waterway traffic safety violators to the tune of more than 2 billion VND (88,800 USD). The police also worked with traffic inspectors to fine more than 200 people for illegally exploiting sand and soil, according to the Hanoi police.-VNA