HA NOI — People living near Ba Dinh district’s Long Bien Market in Ha Noi, the biggest wholesale market in the northern region, complained of rotten produce and wastewater smells affecting their daily lives for nearly a decade.
The 22-year-old market has polluted the surrounding environment for a long time, said Hoang Dinh Thanh, deputy head of Long Bien Market Management Board. The broken drainage system leaves wastewater collecting in the market, causing a putrid odor, he said.
“The stinky smell from the market bothered our family even when we closed the doors very tight,” said To Thi Lieu, who lives by the market. “Sometimes, we had to wear masks when we slept due to the smell.”
The management board assigned 17 environment workers to clean up and collect about 2.5 tonnes of waste from the market everyday, he said. The board also hired an environmental hygiene company to collect and destroy waste. Despite environmental workers’ best efforts, their cleaning has had little effect, because of the sheer amount of waste being discharged.
Traders must commit to seriously obeying environmental protection regulations when doing business in the market, he said. But the sanctions in place have not managed to deter violators.
According to Thanh, the People’s Committee of Ba Dinh has planned to spend VND70 billion (US$3.3 million) to upgrade the market. The construction is expected to start on December 30.
The Long Bien Market covers 27,100sq.m and hosts 1,100 traders.