The developer of a resort has been ordered to remove all illegal facilities by the end of this week after authorities found it had been constructed in the middle of a critical protection forest in central Vietnam.
Local residents first discovered the soon-to-be tourist venue inside the Tra Ly protection forest in Duy Son Commune, Duy Xuyen District in mid-February.
The resort covers an area of approximately one hectare and is barricaded with welded wire mesh fences
The facilities inside include wooden houses, ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and concrete roads.
Protection forests are forests that mitigate or prevent the impact of a natural hazard, including a rockfall, erosion, landslide, or flooding on people and their assets.
|A concrete road inside the illegal resort. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre|
Locals said that the owner of the resort is a resident in Ho Chi Minh City.
However, the owner of the land plot where the resort is located is a man named Ngo Phi Nhi, who lives in Duy Son Commune, according to authorities.
In 1978, authorities in the commune agreed to allow Nhi to use 2.9 hectares of land within the forest for his plantations.
While the whole area was zoned for protection forests in 2017, Nhi was still permitted to grow paddies and other crops on the piece of land he was entitled to.
|A house is being built in the middle of a pond. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre|
In November 2018, Nhi and a Ho Chi Minh City resident submitted a document to the local administration, seeking permission to “work the land plot” in order to grow some new crops.
After the proposition was approved, the construction of the resort started.
“It is illegal to build such structures in the protection forest,” an official in Duy Son said.
“We have asked the developer to cease the project after receiving reports from local residents.”
Le Trung Cuong, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in Duy District, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the administration had also ordered the removal of the illicit constructions by March 10.
The provincial forest protection department will also determine a suitable penalty for the violators.