Quang Ninh refutes allegations of sea encroachment in Ha Long Bay hinh anh 1The image of Ao Tien high-class tourism urban area has been shared widely on social networks in recent days. (Photo nld.com.vn)
Quang Ninh (VNS/VNA) - The People's Committee of northern coastal Quang Ninh province has refuted information that it has allowed a project to conduct sea encroachment and subdivide land plots for sale, which seriously undermined the conservation of the UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay.

The committee said the information circulating online about a development project encroaching into the bay in recent days was "not true."

The image circulated was taken at in Ao Tien high-class tourism urban area project in Van Don district.

The area was in Van Don economic zone, not in the Ha Long Bay, the province stressed.

In recent days, the image of an urban area with divided land plots and an island in the middle of the area locating right close to Ha Long Bay has been shared widely on Facebook, stirring strong opposition about greed-driven incursion into nature.

Vu Duc Huong, Chairman of the Van Don District People’s Committee, affirmed that the planning of Ao Tien area was approved by the provincial People's Committee in accordance with the general construction planning of Van Don economic zone, which had been approved by the Government in Decision No. 1296 issued on August 19, 2009 and Decision No. 266 on February 17, 2020.

"Ao Tien new urban area project has been assigned to invest in construction since 2004. Up to now, the project has been basically completed and has been granted a land use right certificate,” he said.

Currently, the provincial People's Committee has called for investment in two five-star hotel and tourism complexes in this area, including Crystal Holidays Harbor Van Don tourism, resort and entertainment complex with an area of 2.6ha anda total investment capital of 3.61 trillion VND (154 million USD) and Ao Tien - Cat Linh Van Don luxury hotel and apartment complex with an area of 2.3ha with a total investment capital of 3.91 trillion VND (167 million USD).

In the Ao Tien area, there is a high-class port project, which has been approved by the provincial People's Committee in 2020.

The project has been built on an area of 29.21ha with a maximum operating capacity of about 4.2 million passengers per year.

Currently, the project is under construction and is almost completed.

According to the Management Board of the Van Don Economic Zone, before 2004, Ao Tien area was a swampy, deserted area until the planning for the Van Don Economic Zone was approved and started to be constructed.

Investment projects in the Ao Tien area will help contribute to a complete and synchronous service and tourism infrastructure system, meeting the requirements of construction and development of the Van Don economic zone into a multi-sector marine economic zone, the board said.

On August 16, the cybersecurity and high-tech crime prevention and control division under the provincial Department of Public Security summoned with Dinh Van Duc, 33, residing in Quang Yen township to clarify his information on the issue on social media.

On August 16, Duc used a personal Facebook accountto comment on a post about the Ao Tien project in Van Don district on the Facebook page named "People of Quang Ninh."

According to the department, the comment had false content, affecting the reputation and image of the leaders of Quang Ninh province.

At the police station, Duc confessed to the violation.

The police made a record of administrative violations against Duc for taking advantage of social mediato post false information and insult the reputation of agencies and organisations.

The police have been working with a number of cases in Uong Bi city, Cam Pha city and Van Don district about false statements on the issue./.