Ho Chi Minh City and the State Audit Department are at loggerheads over a nine million dollar ‘advance payment’ to the company developing a big dump site.
|Water discharged from the Da Phuoc dump site.|
Several days ago, Vietnam’s State Audit Agency (SAV) told journalists that HCM City was wrong to advance $9 million to the Vietnamese-American investor of the controversial Da Phuoc waste management project.
“Not so,” People’s Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Thanh Tai told the city’s legislature on December 10. “We were not using environment funds and we simply made a payment in advance for waste processing services.”
Tai said that HCM City authorities have not received any official communication from the SAV about the matter, and proposed a general meeting including the municipal People’s Committee and related agencies be organized to discuss issues related to Da Phuoc project.
Meanwhile, Councilman Le Thuong Man reported that on December 3, some deputies took photographs at the Da Phuoc project showing red water with white bubbles flowing into the river. Brandishing the photos, Man asked what they meant. “According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, discharges from waste must be very clear to reach a level A standard. What is the red water that we filmed?”
Deputy Nguyen Dang Nghia told the Council session that “information from the media about the Da Phuoc project ought to be verified. I asked the Environment Police about it, and they said they have it all on film, just as the papers reported. The film was sent to the City People’s Committee. So what has the committee done about it with it?”
Tai said he has “heard” about this tape but he “has not received it”.
Trung Thanh – Doan Quy