Recognized as a national landscape and controlled strictly under the Heritage Law, Nha Trang Bay in Khanh Hoa province, a famous tourist area, has been compromised by unsound proposals.
Nguyen Van Chi, former chair of the Khanh Hoa provincial People’s Committee, said: “The idea of encroaching on Nha Trang sea and developing construction works is unfeasible, because they will harm the national heritage.”
However, several such projects have been proposed. Investors have thrown tons of rocks and soil into Nha Trang Bay. The projects that will appropriate space on Nhu Reang Bay are Champarama Resort & Spa, Nha Trang Sao, forest plantations, seaweed cultivation, and the Hon Rua Ecotourism Complex.
Only when local newspapers wrote about the projects and gave warnings did state management agencies in Khanh Hoa province finally begin inspecting the sites and discover violations.
“Standing on Pham Van Dong street and looking into Nha Trang Bay, everyone can see what is happening on Hon Rua Island. I don’t understand why authorities haven’t seen the road building activities there,” a Nha Trang resident said.
Similarly, a delegation of inspectors from the Khanh Hoa provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment decided to inspect the project after comments and criticism appeared in mass media.
“Ironically, the provincial authorities allowed investors to develop the projects which don’t fit the Nha Trang Bay development plan which was approved by the agency itself,” the man said.
The public, while expressing disappointment about the situation of Nha Trang Bay, is suspicious about the local authorities’ management capability.
“State agencies are irresponsible. The local authorities did not know what was happening in the locality, though the illegal sea-encroaching projects had been implemented for a long time,” said Doan Minh Long, a member of the Khanh Hoa provincial People’s Council at a meeting on March 27.
Local newspapers in late 2017 reported that Champarama Travel JSC was fined VND70 million for encroaching upon Nha Trang Bay. The company poured stone and soil into the bay to absorb over 17,500 square metres for its Champarama Resort & Spa project.
The problems have now been discovered, but the process of settling the problems has proceeded very slowly.
Regarding afforestation, seaweed cultivation and ecotourism projects on Hon Rua Island, according to Phan Thong, chair of the Khanh Hoa provincial People’s Council, illegal sea encroachment must be stopped by the end of 2017.
However, the council, after inspecting the site, found that investors have not taken action, as requested.