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Illegally-built resorts exist despite sanctions in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Illegally-built resorts exist despite sanctions in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Sunday, March 26, 2023, 13:34 GMT+7
Illegally-built resorts exist despite sanctions in Vietnam’s Central Highlands
An illegally built tourist area in Cu Ebur Commune, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province, Vietnam. Photo: Trung Tan / Tuoi Tre

Despite sanctions imposed many years ago, many tourist areas illegally built on forest and agricultural land in Vietnam’s Central Highlands keep operating given poor management by relevant agencies.

The situation is happening in Dak Lak and Dak Nong Provinces.

The Doan Thanh Horse Farm tourist area in Cu Ebur Commune, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province, which belongs to Doan Thanh Land Company, is still operating and advertising its services on Facebook despite multiple violations.

Occupying four hectares of agricultural land, the tourist area has many illicit facilities, namely a swimming pool, a restaurant, a horse ranch, and statues, and provides unlicensed tourist activities such as camping, off-road racing, and outdoor activities.

Another unlawfully built resort was detected on a one-hectare hill zoned for growing perennial crops along National Highway No. 14 in Truc Son Commune, Cu Jut District, Dak Nong Province.

Pham Ha, 40, the owner of the land plot, sought permission to convert its purpose of use in late 2021.

Although the land use conversion has not been approved, he has already built houses and planted trees to build a resort.

Similarly, Tran Van Quyet, residing in Gia Nghia City, Dak Nong Province, started the construction of a resort on agricultural land and forest land near the Dak R'tih hydropower reservoir in Nhan Co Commune, Dak R'Lap District in late October 2021.

An official from the Nhan Co Commune People’s Committee confirmed he had required Quyet to stop the violations. 

However, this resort was almost completed and some people already stayed at the venue as of mid-March.

Violations persist despite penalties

The leader of the Nhan Co Commune People's Committee attributed the poor management to the lack of human resources.  

Quyet resides in another locale, which also makes it difficult for him to handle the illegal construction, the official added.

Meanwhile, the People's Committee of Cu Ebur Commune said it had required Doan Ngoc Vy, director of Doan Thanh Land Company, to stop the construction of the Doan Thanh Horse Farm tourist area in late 2022.

On January 13 this year, the People's Committee of Buon Ma Thuot City issued a decision to impose a fine of VND11.5 million (US$489) upon the company, but the tourist area is still open.

"We had a meeting and agreed that we will not accept Doan Thanh Horse Farm's violations, and local authorities will take more assertive measures in the coming time,” a leader of the Buon Ma Thuot City People's Committee said.

Regarding the resort next to National Highway 14, the owner had been twice fined a combined VND23.5 million ($1,000), said Nguyen Anh Tu, chairman of the People's Committee of Cu Jut District.

All transactions related to the land plot were also suspended so that the owner can correct his wrongdoings, Tu added.

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Khang Nguyen - Trung Tan / Tuoi Tre News

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