Protestors block roads leading to Hanoi landfill, demand compensation

By Gia Chinh   December 24, 2019 | 07:14 pm PT
Protestors block roads leading to Hanoi landfill, demand compensation
Citizens of Hanoi's Hong Ky Commune protest outside the Nam Son waste treatment complex, December 24, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
Local residents have been blocking roads leading to a waste treatment complex in Hanoi’s Soc Son District since Monday afternoon due to relocation disputes.

"In July authorities compensated some relocated households and promised to resolve all cases by the third quarter of 2019, but we have yet to see any progress," Chu Van Nhu, who lives 200 meters from the Nam Son landfill, said on Tuesday.

His family has over 2,000 square meters of agricultural land within a 500-m radius from the landfill, the area to be cleared. But they have yet to receive any money.

On Tuesday morning around 40 people stationed themselves along the roads leading to the landfill with tables, chairs and food, preventing garbage trucks from entering.

"I don't want to be out here in the cold, but waiting for the compensation to come takes too long and I've lost faith," Nguyen Thi Hue, who lives 300 m from the landfill and has 1,800 sq.m of agricultural land, said.

The blockade would continue until authorities agree on a timeline to pay the compensation and prioritize payment for agricultural lands over residential ones, she added.

The chairman of the Soc Son People's Committee, Pham Van Minh, called on the city People’s Committee on Monday to consider a compensation rate of 70 percent for agricultural crops, and 100 percent for structures on residential land.

The district has also asked Hanoi to provide legal documents regarding the planning and dumping of trash in the landfill, saying "if there is no response to Soc Son's request," the city should suspend the landfill's operations until relocation procedures are completed.

To prevent trash from building up, the city Department of Construction said on Tuesday that rubbish from Thanh Xuan, Hoai Duc, Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, Dong Da, Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay and Tay Ho districts should be taken to the Xuan Son landfill in Son Tay Town, about 66.8 km away.

Trash from Ha Dong, Hoang Mai, Long Bien, Thanh Tri, Gia Lam, and Dong Anh districts should be retained at local collection points, and if the Nam Son landfill does not resume operations within a week, it should be taken to Xuan Son as well, it said.

This is the third time this year after January and July that people in Soc Son have blocked roads leading to the landfill.

They have been protesting against the failure to relocate them last year as promised due to the harmful environmental impacts of the landfill, compensation disputes and the fact that some of them wanted to be relocated further away from the stink.

The landfill, built in 1999, spreads over 157 hectares (390 acres), but more than half of it has been filled. It receives almost 5,000 tons of garbage every day, and will be able to take no more after December 2020, according to the Hanoi Urban Environment Company.

Hanoi generates 6,500 tons of solid domestic waste daily and 89 percent of it is buried.

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