District party chief’s mystery tunnel draws official scrutiny

By Tran Quoc Thoai   March 24, 2016 | 03:48 am PT
District party chief’s mystery tunnel draws official scrutiny
Tay Giang District’s party committee Briu Liec has built the tunnel, which, according to him, for : VnExpress
The party committee of a central province has recommended that a district party chief stop building a tunnel he say he will use to store wine.

Quang Nam Province’s party committee has dispatched an inspection team to Tay Giang District to gather more information on the tunneling work.

The tunnel has been an ongoing project of the chief of the district party committee, Briu Liec, since 2009, Phan Viet Cuong, deputy of the municipal party committee, told VnExpress on Wednesday.

The team will check if the work is properly licensed and provide a report to the leadership of the provincial party committee, Cuong said.

“I have recommended he stop the work and refill the tunnel, and if he fails to comply, there will be other solutions," he said.

"The tunneling is very dangerous for him, his family and everyone else living nearby given the threat of landslides or a tunnel collapse,” Cuong added.

Speaking to VnExpress on the same day, Nguyen Vien, director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said he knew nothing about the tunneling work. He said such a project would need written permission from the authorities.

“This is an illegal act which has been carried out without permission as the chief of the district’s natural resources and environment office has not been informed about it,” Vien said.

Meanwhile, the Quang Nam Province construction department said they had not received any design documents or license application for tunneling work from the district’s party chief.

Earlier this week, Briu Liec told VnExpress the tunneling started in a small hillside behind his family's villa seven years ago.

The building of the arc-shaped tunnel, which is 100 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and about 2 meters high, has yet to be completed, he said.

Local people said the tunneling was stopped a few months ago, when the leadership of Quang Nam visited the district.

Many of them told VnExpress they believed the tunnel may be a gold mining venture, as many illegal gold mines are scattered around the district.

But Briu Liec said he merely wanted to create a place to make and store wine.

“I will make wine and bring it there for fermenting so that I have something to serve my friends when I retire,” he said.

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