Hanoi to clear West Lake of food, tour vessels
Hanoi’s People’s Committee has approved a proposal by the local Department of Transport to move all tourist boats and floating restaurants from the West Lake to Dam Bay area in Nhat Tan Ward within October.
The decision has received wide support from the tourism sector and local people, who have long criticized these boats for blocking views and polluting the lake.
Six tourist boats were licensed to operate on the West Lake, but fare more was operating illegally. They discharged a huge amount of untreated waste into the lake, which was seriously polluting the water.
A recent study by the Hanoi National University found the lake water has highly acidic due to the accumulation of waste and waste-water, killing fish, prawn, and snail species in the lake.
Hanoi police caught five boats operating illegally on the lake following allegations they were discharging human waste.
But it has been difficult to crack down on such vessels as they fell under multiple jurisdictions and departments.
A local woman, Nguyen Thi Thanh, said that she goes for a walk every morning and sometimes feels sick from the smell coming from the lake.
“Many times we see the water turn dark and dead fish floating on the surface,” Thanh said. “I am very happy to hear these floating restaurants will be moved.”
Another local, Trong Truong, said he had seen restaurants dumping their waste directly into the lake.
“I think these restaurants should be stopped operating until they know how to treat their waste,” Truong said. “But Dam Bay Lake is open to the West Lake so we cannot resolve pollution here just by moving these vessels there.”
Director of Hanoi’s Department of Tourism, Do Dinh Hong, said, “We should clear out these vessels from the lake to protect it from pollution and create better views for visitors.”
“We are planning on some new tour packages on the West Lake and hope to attract more visitors to one of the most beautiful spots in the capital,” Hong said.
News Source: dtinews.vn