Inspection on Da Nang’s projects begins

Thursday, 2017-12-07 12:19:19
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The Government Inspectorate will begin its inspection of the construction projects on the protected Son Tra Peninsula. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO/VNA – The Government Inspectorate of Vietnam (GIV) will begin its inspection of the controversial Da Phuoc International Urban project, along with all of the investment and construction projects on the protected Son Tra Peninsula.

The inspection will consider land use and land management practices, as well as forest and environmental protection, on the peninsula, located10km from the city.

At a working session with the city’s people’s committee yesterday, it was revealed that the inspection would be carried out over the course of 45 days, as instructed by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh.

The 17-member inspection team will verify the land management and land use practices of investment and construction projects on the peninsula and inspect the growth of the Da Phuoc Urban project in Da Nang over the 2003-16 period.

The inspection of projects in Da Nang was spurred by public concern over the mass development of buildings, hotels, resorts and villas on the Son Tra Nature Reserve on the peninsula.

Members of the public also called for a halt to the tourism master plan, which had aimed to build 1,920 villas, 24 bungalows and 1,600 luxury hotel rooms by 2030, on the 4,439ha Son Tra Nature Reserve.

In August, the Prime Minister asked the Da Nang City’s People’s Committee to clear up the Son Tra Master Plan and ensure that it fully complied with the laws on forest and environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, and defence and security.

But the city’s administration failed to comply with the Prime Minister’s request for detailed plans to resolve the clash between the need to preserve the Son Tra Nature Reserve and the desire to accelerate tourism development at the site.

According to a 2004 law on forest protection and a 2008 law on biodiversity conservation, all land-use changes and forest land encroachment in the nature reserve are banned. Any change of land-use purpose in the Son Tra forest must be decided on by the Prime Minister.

Up to now, 18 out of 25 planned hotels and resorts on the Son Tra Mountain have been approved by the city on a total of 1,220ha, while 137 private villas, of which over 20 have already been built, are planned on 2.4ha within the reserve.

The reserve is unique in Vietnam and the world. Its biodiversity ranges from primary forests to ocean dunes, with more than 1,000 plant and 370 animal species.

More than 1,300 red-shanked douc langurs (Pygathryx nemaeus), which are critically endangered and found only in east-central Laos and Vietnam, live in the Son Tra Nature Reserve.

Last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued an official warning to Da Nang City’s People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho over the joint responsibility for violations and shortcomings in land and urban management.

The developing Da Phuoc International Urban Project was suspended in April when the city’s construction department deemed that the project’s environmental assessment report was incomplete and didn’t cover the use of illegal sand for sea embankments for the project.