HCM CITY — One year into a five-year programme to reduce environmental pollution in HCM City, very little improvement has been made, the city leader has admitted.
Speaking at a recent meeting, People’s Committee vice chairman Nguyen Huu Tin said this was due to an overlap in responsibilities between city agencies and district authorities and poor co-ordination between them.
District leaders listed several shortcomings in carrying out environmental protection tasks.
Officials from People’s Committees of District 7 and District 12 both said they faced problems in dealing with polluting factories.
The former urged municipal authorities for financial support for removing and upgrading small production establishments owned by low-income people.
District 12 called for simplifying procedures to withdraw violators’ business licence.
A member of the city People’s Council, Huynh Cong Hung, said there were shortcomings in the very process of licensing, pointing out that licensees often did not operate their own business but instead sell their licences to others.
Participants also voiced concern over inefficient garbage collection and transportation, saying that rubbish was often kept for hours at collection spots before being taken to dumping sites, causing pollution in residential areas.
They pointed to litter dumped in canals and rivers. Except for the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe and Tau Hu-Ben Nghe canals, which were being cleaned, all other water bodies were seriously polluted, they said.
Tin urged the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Justice, and Planning and Investment to draft appropriate regulations to tackle polluting enterprises.
He told district leaders to report on the measures taken to overcome the problems they faced in implementing the programme within a month.
The programme is part of a five-year national plan from 2011 to 2015 to reduce pollution and improve the environment.
Pollution, which has dramatically worsened following the country’s rapid industrialisation and development, has caused a 1.5-3 per cent loss in productivity, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has estimated. — VNS