In order to improve the situation of environmental pollution in the city, Ho Chi Minh City has displaced more than 1400 manufacturing facilities polluting industrial areas and vicinity. However, shortcomings arise when manufacturing facilities are the “culprit ” causing recontamination.
Where the causes come from.
The relocation of polluting facilities in the city was devised in 2002. However, after more than 10 years, the city is now unable to report concrete results. In fact, there remained a large number of businesses and manufacturing facilities that have not been displaced. Some of the businesses that have already been relocated continue to cause serious environmental pollution in new locations due to spontaneous relocation and outdated production technologies. Typically, 31 washing and dyeing facilities have continuously discharged a large amount of emission and waste water that exceed the allowed standard, polluting the residential area of Dong Hung Thuan Ward, District 12. Not to mention, 600 other large and small manufacturing facilities in Binh Chanh District are also causing pollution. In addition, there are 2 out 37 large polluting production facilities that have not been displaced under the decision of the Prime Minister issued in 2003, including Ha Tien cement plant and Ba Son Shipyard as the city was unable to find the appropriate locations.
According to Nguyen Toan Thang, Vice Chairman of District 12, such production facilities as Xuan Truong company, a branch of Trang Kiem company, Lam Xuan Thuy factory were previously transferred from the inner urban to suburb, but are now eligible to move into the production cluster as they discharged too much polluting sewage and emissions.
The policy of relocation of polluting production facilities to the suburbs is accurate, however, incomprehensive implementation has led to the on-going environmental pollution. Many businesses that are require to relocate from urban areas have resorted processing and industrial zones (PZ – IZ) in the city, but most of them were denied due to many different reasons. Besides, it is small-scale production grounds with just a few hundred square meters and scattered operation that have made it unable for many manufacturing facilities to relocate because of insufficient capital. It took at least 5000m2 of rental areas for PZs and Izs to relocate while the needs of these facilities only range from 200 to 1000m2.
Mr.Ta Quoc Dan, Deputy head of management of Le Minh Xuan Industrial Park, said: “When Ho Chi Minh City decided to relocate polluting production facilities to the suburb, many business owners requested to move in this IP, but we were very concerned. These enterprises mainly engaged in pollution arising professions such as weaving, dyeing…The relocation of their concentrated production in the absence of a appropriate infrastructure, will likely make the pollution recur at the new location” .
The city’s new direction
With a view to thwart contamination in new areas after relocation, it is essential that Ho Chi Minh City implement various activities such as business innovation consulting, improvement of production technology, capital support for enterprises’ waste disposal system, community movement advocating the consumption of green products…On the other hand, the city need to meet the receiving infrastructure needs in order to avoid spontaneous relocation, apply incentives and rational roadmap for the implementation of relocation. Initially, only 12 counties have committed to finish relocation of polluting facilities before the end of 2014.
Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Manh Ha emphasized: the City recognized the difficulties of enterprises but cannot allow these units to continue their polluting production. In the upcoming time, the relocation will focus on moving polluting facilities to industrial clusters with complete wastewater treatment system. The City authorities has directed districts and communes to review the list of production establishments that are inconsistent with planning and environmentally polluting to move into industrial clusters until 15/9.