Locals in the south-central province of Binh Dinh blocked part of Vietnam’s National Highway 1 for over seven hours on Friday to protest against a local seafood factory project over environmental concerns.
Around a hundred people, most of whom women and children, started gathering on the highway through Phu My District at around 9:00 am, according to the district’s deputy chairman Nguyen Van Dung.
The locals, who sat side by side to form a human barricade just outside the headquarters of Phu My administration, demanded that the district administration scrap project to develop a seafood processing facility over worries of environmental damage, Dung said.
The incident led to severe congestion on the National Highway 1, a lifeline road that runs from Vietnam’s northern border with China to its southernmost province of Ca Mau.
Regular flow of traffic was only resumed at 4:00 pm the same day when the crowds agreed to disband following talks with authorities.
The seafood factory in question is part of a fisheries industrial cluster in Phu My, the planning for which has been approved by the provincial administration, said Binh Dinh chairman Ho Quoc Dung.
The plant itself is developed by a private enterprise which has been leased a plot of land within the industrial cluster, Dung said.
However, construction of the facility had been ordered to halt for further environmental evaluation weeks prior to Friday’s incident, he added.