Administrators in Hanoi say they will be relocating people who live near a local waste treatment plant later this year after angered residents had prevented garbage trucks from entering the facility in the past few days as a way of protest.
Many people in Nam Son, Bac Son, and Hong Ky Communes in Soc Son District started barricading the entrance of the Nam Son solid waste treatment complex on Friday last week, causing rubbish to pile up along many streets in the capital.
The situation remained unsolved until Monday morning, before local authorities were able to convince the locals to return to their homes on the afternoon of the same day.
Covering an area of 83.4 hectares, the Nam Son waste treatment plant is considered the largest facility in Hanoi with a capacity of 4,000 metric tons per day.
According to the municipal People’s Committee, local residents have been exasperated by the sluggish site clearance and relocation process around the treatment plant.
Do Trong De, who lives in Nam Son Commune, said locals have had to live along with the pollution brought about by operations of the facility over the past two decades.
|A garbage truck was able to enter the treatment plant on the afternoon of January 14, 2019. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“In 2016, Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung promised to relocate all of us away from the plant by the third quarter of 2018,” said Nguyen Thi Ly, another resident in Nam Son.
With no action ever taken since, residents had to take matters into their own hands, Ly continued.
“Either the treatment complex shuts down or we are moved to a different location. We cannot keep living here as pollution and cancer will eventually kill us,” she asserted.
In order to deal with the issue, the Hanoi administration has required authorities in Soc Son District to finish drawing a map detailing the affected areas within a 500 meter radius from the Nam Son treatment plant.
By March 30, the district’s authorities will have to complete a list of affected households and suggest a way to support and relocate these residents.
The relocation must be carried out within the second quarter of this year.
The Soc Son administration was also tasked with explaining the situation to the locals to prevent them from blocking the treatment complex in the future.