Viet Nam News HCM CITY — Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình has asked the Government Inspectorate of Việt Nam to respond in writing to complaints about environmental violations from residents who live near the Đa Phước Solid Waste Treatment Complex in HCM City’s Bình Chánh District.
The deputy PM also asked the Government Inspectorate to address the financial losses to the State budget incurred by the project.
Results from inspections showed that the treatment complex has violated environmental protection regulations.
As for the matter of financial losses, Bình has asked the Government Inspectorate to coordinate with other agencies and clarify whether the HCM City People’s Committee intentionally broke regulations and violated the Law on the State Budget when it advanced US$9 million to Việt Nam Waste Solutions Inc, the developer of the waste treatment project.
The HCM City People’s Committee said the advance of US$9 million to VWS was done to reduce waste treatment costs from US$16.96 to US$16.4 per tonne.
But the Government Inspectorate said such an advance was against the Law on the State Budget.
The city’s Department of Finance said the waste treatment cost was US$10.025 per tonne at that time, and there was no reason for the advance of US$9 million to the project investor.
Moreover, using the US dollar in valuing the project and in contracts signed between the two sides were also violations of regulations on foreign currency management.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment had also informed relevant agencies about the investor’s financial capacity and the higher waste treatment costs compared with other similar projects.
Although VWS said the waste treatment facility at Đa Phước uses advanced technology, results from inspections show that the Đa Phước Complex is just “burying waste hygienically”.
The process to bury waste has also caused bad odours, causing air pollution.
Last year, VWS was fined over VNĐ3.5 billion for violations of environmental law and was forced to repair damages it had caused.
However, recent inspections revealed that the smell continues to rise from the Đa Phước Complex, affecting the life of residents in the area.
The Government Inspectorate of Việt Nam has quoted the Inspectorate of HCM City as saying that the closure of dumping site No 3 at Phước Hiệp Landfill in the city’s Củ Chi District had caused damages of VNĐ1 trillion to the State coffers.
They asked HCM City authorities to re-open Phước Hiệp waste treatment complex for further operation.
Phước Hiệp waste treatment facility, which can receive and treat 8,000 tonnes of waste from HCM City and neighbouring provinces per day, will be able to operate until 2030.
The Government Inspectorate said the Đa Phước Complex Project includes a facility to produce compost fertiliser but has yet to be put into operation.
The Government Inspectorate has asked Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to order HCM City People’s Committee to conduct individual and collective review of their responsibility for the errors and shortcomings at the Đa Phước Waste Treatment Complex Project.
HCM City authorities were also told to negotiate and renew the contract for receiving and treatment of solid waste, and to take measures to resolve environmental protection violations. — VNS