The deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee has said that all polluting companies must be moved out of the centre city by year-end, and that no deadline extensions would be granted.

Tat Thanh Cang, speaking at a meeting on July 8 in the city, said: "They can move to industrial parks, or change their business into clean production or just stop operation."

"There will be no more delays or concessions for such enterprises," he added.

Seven seriously polluted enterprises, including Viet Huong Hai Fish Source, Binh Trieu Shipyard, Gia Dinh – Phong Phu Garment and Textile, Saigon Textile, Petrolimex Shipyard, Thang Long Paper and Wrapping, and Ha Tien Cement must be moved under the Prime Minister's decision, along with 24 newly emerging polluted companies in districts 12 and Cu Chi.

"These seven enterprises have moved very slowly. For example, Viet Huong Hai Fish Source hasn't found any place for 12 years," Cao Tung Son, Deputy Head of the Natural Resource and Environment Department's Environment Protection Sub-department, was quoted as saying in Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper.

The Viet Huong Hai Fish Source plant planned to move to Tay Ninh province–based Trang Bang Industrial Park, but the company cannot meet waste water treatment standards.

The Thu Duc-based Ha Tien Cement plant has asked authorities to move to Phu Huu ward in District 9 as the company has purchased a grinding mill. But local authorities rejected the plan because the mill is polluting.

"Thu Duc district and District 9 will become an urban area with ports and logistics services. Therefore, no factory will be allowed to operate in the area," Cao Tung Son added.

Deputy Chairman Tat Thanh Cang said Ha Tien Cement plant must submit a plan by July 25 to move or to stop operation by December 31.

To speed up the transfer, the city People's Committee has approved the establishment of a Movement Steering Committee.

Under the Steering Committee, polluting enterprises in residential areas will be moved under the management of the Natural Resources and Environmental Department, while the Industry and Trade Department will be responsible for other cases.-VNA