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Vietnam seaside town suspends tourism project that encroaches on sea

In a decision signed on Monday, the acting president of the province, Nguyen Thanh Long, instructed the provincial Ministry of Construction to ask the project investor to suspend construction work on the seafront and immediately cease activities. dike construction and land reclamation until further notice.

The department was also tasked with working with the investor, Vung Tau Cable Car Tourism JSC, to review the legal documents of the project, its impact on the surrounding area and on the tourist environment.

Hon Nguu Cable Car Station and Aquarium Complex on Vung Tau Bai Truoc Beach (Front Beach) Subproject is part of the Ho May Park Tourism, Culture, Entertainment and Resort Project of the society.

The 6.7-hectare (17-acre) Hon Nguu complex, which plans to receive 3,000 to 5,000 visitors per day, is said to have encroached 200 meters (660 feet) into the sea for a total encroachment area of ​​about three hectares.

It was to consist of a 22-story five-star hotel, restaurants, water sports facilities, an aquarium, a beach and an artificial swimming pool.

The $ 50 million project was expected to be completed by 2023.

The history of the project dates back to 1998, when the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau approved a 22 hectare urbanization plan in the Bai Truoc area, of which 10 hectares were reserved for a tourist complex, including an aquarium.

In 2003, the province granted Vung Tau Cable Car Tourism JSC the right to use more than 67,000 square meters of special use water surface. The province allowed the company to take the land under a 50-year lease.

Last year, the province approved the Hon Nguu aquarium project and earlier this year its environmental impact assessment report. In August of this year, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Construction Department issued a building permit.

However, construction work on the project over the past few days has raised concerns among local residents that the project will disrupt the landscape and the view from the colonial-era Bach Dinh (White Palace), a historic mountainside villa. built by the French and used as a resort for the last king of Vietnam, Bao Dai, and several presidents of the South Vietnamese regime. It now exhibits antiques and functions as a tourist attraction.

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