Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha on June 4 answered queries by deputies on solutions to tackle urban pollution, as part of the National Assembly’s ongoing fifth session.

Regarding air pollution in big cities, the official attributed the problem to transport and construction activities.

According to him, his ministry has advised the Prime Minister to issue decisions on a nationwide plan, which pushes for local investment and installation of air pollution monitoring systems. The systems will help clarify pollution sources and make public the information.

He recommended other measures to the problem, including reducing fumes from transport and tackling post-harvest straw-burning in areas surrounding big cities.

Concerning river pollution, Minister Ha said the Government has basically controlled the quality of wastewater discharged from factories and industrial zones.

He noted the collection of household wastewater remains a difficulty, as 95 percent of the wastewater is released directly into the environment without previous treatment.

He stressed each city needs to hold responsibility to their own sources of wastewater, and mobilise social resources to collect and tackle wastewater.

He said a good point is that sources of waste disposal and local responsibilities have been identified. Hanoi has completed its mechanism encouraging the private involvement in wastewater treatment, he added.

The minister took the responsibility for weak control of land pollution. He said the matter involves the Ministry of Construction, which is in charge of planning, and the Ministry of Science and Technology overseeing technological issues.

Ha said ministries involved together will ask the PM to issue a mixed strategy on waste treatment based on using technologies suitable to the financial condition of each urban area.
According calculation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, by 2030, Vietnam must operate waste-fueled power plants. The waste-to-energy technology is undergone assessment by the Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure its feasibility in Vietnam.-VNA