Hanoi dykes in peril amid flood season hinh anh 1A damaged section of Hong (Red) River’s dyke running through Thuong Tin district in Hanoi is repaired (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Amid the peak of the rainy season, dyke violations in Hanoi are set to rear their ugly head.

Violations have existed for many years but have not been resolved by competent agencies, harming dyke safety, the flood irrigation corridor for the capital.

According to Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper, most of the dyke violations involved the construction of houses and workshops, illegal sand exploitation, storage of building materials and overloaded vehicles travelling on dykes.

Other violations included dumping construction rubbish, removing gravel and digging irrigation channels.

The violations occurred frequently on the Hong (Red) River section running through Thuong Tin district.

About seven building material storage points licensed by local agencies were found in Thong Nhat commune with dozens of high sand piles along the river’s dyke, the report said.

Along the river’s dyke in Lien Mac ward of Bac Tu Liem district, seven companies occupy unused land to store and transport construction materials, with sand piled up behind trees.

These points are located near the river, about 100m from the dyke, causing damage and subsidence to the dyke, with overloaded trucks operating all day and night.

Nguyen Huu Dac, a resident in Thuong Tin district’s Hong Van commune, said these vehicles had not only threatened the safety of the dyke but also polluted the environment and affected the lives of thousands of households.

Households in Ninh So commune have also blamed owners of building material storage sites for encroachment on agricultural land and dyke protection corridors to build workshops, damaging the dyke in the rainy season.

Many violations have been tackled by local authorities but offenders still ignore the regulations and sanctions and have continued violating for years.

Widespread violations are reducing the dykes’ effectiveness in the storm season, yet little has been done to resolve the issue.

Do Duc Thinh, head of Dyke Management and Flood Prevention Division, said the capital city’s dyke system was in good shape to control floods. However, with the unusual occurrence of natural disasters, it was difficult to anticipate incidents.

Serious violations were being reported, such as the presence of houses and other constructions on the dykes, but they had not resulted in a clearance of the dykes, he said.

Statistics showed there were 15 violations in 2015 and 47 in 2016.

In 2017, heavy rain washed away a section of the dyke on Bui River in Chuong My district, causing serious damage to local property.

More than 1,000 households of the two communes were isolated by floods and hundreds of hectares of crops, aquatic products and cattle were destroyed.

According to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, some landslides occurred on embankments in Ba Vi and Phuc Tho districts since the beginning of this year, threatening the dyke system, lives and property.

Chu Phu My, the department’s director, said thousands of dyke violations had occurred.

In April alone, 22 violations were reported in Hanoi.

My said many people claimed they did not know their actions had violated the dyke protection corridor.

It seemed that people were not informed about dyke laws, he said.

Vice Chairman of the Ninh So commune People’s Committee Do Cao Manh said in addition to the limited knowledge of the people, another issue was that the Dyke Law and legal documents had revealed inadequacies after more than 10 years of implementation.

There were still unspecific regulations on violations, causing difficulties to agencies, he said.

Le Xuan Tien, inspector of the Hanoi Department of Transport, said a lack of strict punishment on the violations made the situation complicated.

The department would continue to work with local authorities to review and add more traffic signs and vehicle weight restriction signs along the dyke, he said.

The inspection should also be strengthened in terms of compliance with the regulations of the transport companies, especially those with multiple offences to improve the situation, said Tien.VNS/VNA