Subdividing plots for sale in world heritage Ha Long Bay: Where are country’s rules and regulations?

Quang Ninh builds an urban project, pours soil and rocks to fill the buffer zone of the world natural heritage of Ha Long Bay

In recent days, Tien Phong newspaper has published a series of investigative reports, “Filling the buffer zone of Ha Long Bay to build villas and townhouses: World natural heritage is directly threatened” which is causing a stir national discussion.

Tien Phong newspaper said: “What’s special is that this project encroaches on Ha Long Bay for a kilometer, from the Ha LongCam Pha coastline and shows no signs of stopping. Many rocky mountains of Ha Long Bay have been destroyed. Enterprises poured land to form a rockery in the middle of the project.”

A representative of the Ha Long Bay Management Board confirmed to Tien Phong newspaper that the location of the 10B Urban Area project is located in the buffer zone of Ha Long Bay.

Surprisingly, according to the representative of the People’s Committee of Cam Pha City, this is a provincial project and was fully consulted with ministries and branches before being approved.

Accordingly, “The project has completed all procedures so it has been implemented on schedule, scale and project construction time. This project is also not located in the core area of Ha Long Bay and has been approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.”

According to the leaders of Cam Pha city, it means that this is a project that has been fully licensed and followed the correct procedures. Obviously, this is an extremely unreasonable thing that can hardly happen.

In addition, a representative of the Ha Long Bay Management Board said, “As soon as they received the information, the Bay Management Board quickly sent a document to the People’s Committee of Cam Pha City and the province’s Department of Culture and Sports and Department of Natural Resources and Environment about the fact that the project is violating many issues that affect the heritage’s buffer zone” but it was still ignored.

Tien Phong newspaper also left the question open: “It is unclear why a project like Urban Area 10B was approved, despite knowing very well that the project implementation area has nearly 4 hectares located in the buffer zone of the heritage of Ha Long Bay?”

So which local leaders and ministries are responsible for providing clear answers to public opinion about the above mentioned problems?

It is known that this “huge” project is located on extremely prime land, adjacent to the sea and on the most beautiful coastal road in Quang Ninh province. The project has a total investment of VND1.232 trillion, with a scale of 31.8 hectares, and is expected to be completed and put into use in the third quarter of 2026.

Specifically, the scale of project items includes: 451 villas and townhouses; rough construction and finishing of the exterior of 52 villas. There are also commercial and service projects, including 7-story hotels. The population size is about 2,524 people.

According to Tien Phong newspaper, the investor of this project is Do Gia Capital Limited Liability Company, established on November 18, 2021. But by December 30, 2021, when the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province recognized the winning results of the land use rights auction, this business was only “42 days old” but had already eliminated 8 serious opponents to win the auction for a trillion-dollar land.

Do Gia Capital Limited Liability Company has a charter capital of VND200 billion. Of which, Mr. Tran Hoai Thanh contributed 55% and Mr. Le Minh Chien contributed 45%. The headquarters of this company is located in Cam Thach ward, Cam Pha city, Quang Ninh province.

By 2022, Do Gia Capital will increase its charter capital to VND600 billion. At this time, the ownership ratio of Le Minh Chien and Tran Hoai Thanh also reversed. Of which, Chien holds 99.99% of the charter capital, the remaining few belong to Thanh.

The things listed above show the caliber of the project investor, as well as the officials behind the protection, and also explain why the authorities at all levels are helpless?

Most recently, under pressure from public opinion as well as the media, the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province issued document No. 3105, requesting the Department of Planning and Investment, Cam Pha city to inspect this project, and report to the province’s People’s Committee in November 2023.

It is known that this project also violates a series of legal regulations, such as the Law on Environmental Protection, the Law on Cultural Heritage, including the Project’s Environmental Impact Assessment Report approved by the People’s Committee. Quang Ninh province approved. If this project is not handled, then ask, where is the state’s discipline?

Public opinion sees that, Ha Long Bay is a world heritage site but can still be subdivided and sold by officials for backyard businesses, so the central piece of land in Ba Dinh, where late President Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum is located, is surely the greedy officials who spend all day chanting about his morality want to sell too? (Translated)