Vietnam highway snarled for hours as residents block industrial park gate

By Giang Chinh   October 15, 2016 | 05:25 pm GMT+7
Vietnam highway snarled for hours as residents block industrial park gate
Around 6,000 workers are stuck outside the Lai Vu Industrial Park as residents in Hai Duong Province blocked the entrance to the park to demand fair land compensation rates. Photo by VnExpress
A new, messy turn for a dispute over land clearance that has remained unresolved for more than 10 years.

Traffic was backed up for hours on Saturday along a major highway in northern Vietnam after nearly 50 residents in Hai Duong Province blocked the entrance to an industrial park, in a show of protest against allegedly low land compensation rates.

The group arrived in front of Lai Vu Industrial Park with hundreds of bags containing waste at 6 a.m.

Around 6,000 workers could not get into the park, causing severe congestion on National Highway 5, an artery road connecting the port city of Hai Phong and Hanoi.

The protesters said they were not happy with unreasonably low compensation rates for their land, the main issue of a dispute that has lasted more than a decade.

Police soon arrived, trying to ease traffic jams and persuade the group to stop blocking the road.

The highway was cleared at around 11 a.m. when the protesters of Kim Thanh District left.

The district chairman, Nguyen Huu Tien, confirmed with VnExpress that the residents, whose land was taken for the development of the industrial park, have been demanding higher compensation.

Tien said the dispute "has lingered for more than 10 years without a solution."

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Workers clean the area in front of the industrial park after the protesters left. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

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