Quang Ninh seeks to relocate thousands away from coal mines

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A motorbike is pictured under slurry in a residential area in Cam Pha, Quang Ninh Province, after torrential rains hit the province's coal mines last July. Photo credit: Vietnamnet A motorbike is pictured under slurry in a residential area in Cam Pha, Quang Ninh Province, after torrential rains hit the province's coal mines last July. Photo credit: Vietnamnet

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Authorities in Quang Ninh Province have sought the government’s approval for a US$84.5-million project to remove thousands of residents out of areas badly affected by coal mining activities.
Nguyen Duc Long, chairman of Quang Ninh People’s Committee, said in an online conference on Tuesday that 2,138 households in the northern province needed to be evacuated out of dangerous areas that are prone to landslides, local media reported.
Long proposed that the government allow the province to keep all the environment protection tax revenues paid by coal mining firms, instead of contributing 30 percent of the collections to the state budget, to fund the project.
He also asked the government to let the province keep a larger portion of royalty fees paid by coal miners for the purpose.
Quang Ninh, home to the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has the most coal mines in the country.
Last July, historic torrential rains in Quang Ninh claimed the lives of 17 people and caused damages worth $120 million, according to local authorities.
The torrential rains triggered floods and landslides which in turn caused many houses to be drowned in black, toxic slurry.

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