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|Tear it down: An illegal stairway leading up to Huyền Vũ Peak has been constructed recently and will be dismantled soon. Photo thethaovanhoa.vn|
Phạm Xuân Phúc, deputy head of the Inspection Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, confirmed that a team of inspectors from the ministry checked the site at Trường Yên Commune, Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province.
The team saw that the Tràng An Tourism Joint Stock Company, directed by Nguyễn Văn Son, cut into Cái Hạ Mountain and constructed a staircase leading up to Huyền Vũ Peak. The staircase runs up over 1km long with 2,000 steps and handrails on both sides to serve tourists.
The company has also constructed supporting facilitieslike public toilets.
“The act violated the Law of Culture Heritage and Document No 109/2017/NĐ-CP issued on September 21, 2017 by the Government,” Phúc said.
“We had a meeting with Ninh Bình Culture, Sports and Tourism Department and local authorities,” Phúc said, “After reviewing all the company’s papers, we came into a conclusion that the company constructed at the site without any authorised permissions.”
Phúc said the company started the building process in the middle of last year and the site was completed after six months.
During that period, the local authorities and the Tràng An Culture Tourism Site Management Board have warned the company against the illegal construction.
The Ninh Bình Tourism Department has sent four documents to the Hoa Lư People’s Committee to ask the local authorities to stop construction at the site.
The Trường Yên People’s Committee sent five warnings to the company between August and December requesting them to stop building and return the site intact
“The company did not follow the prohibition and continued the building,” Phúc said. “At the moment, the construction has completed. By the time we came to examine, it was already open to public and received many visitors.”
At a press briefing yesterday, Phúc said the inspectors have also discovered that the company has violated other regulations like hiring tourist guides who have no career permission; using untrained boat drivers and selling an entrance ticket of VNĐ45,000 (US$2) per head without permission.
The company has also sold many DVDs at the site and set up instruction signs without permissions.
The company has marked the site “Ancient Tràng An” without permission as well.
“When we asked for papers, materials approved by concerned agencies proving the site ancient Tràng An, the company could not show any,” Phúc said.
Considering the above-mentioned violations, the inspection department has asked the Hoa Lư People’s Committee and the Ninh Bình Tourism Department to stop the operation of Tràng An Tourism Joint Stock Company.
In their announcement sent to the company, the Ninh Bình Tourism Department stressed: “Tràng An Tourism Joint Stock Company has constructed a stairway to Cái Hạ Mountain and received tourists without any permission from concerned agencies. The act has harmed the Tràng An World Culture Heritage Site and violated tourists’ safety.”
The company will soon have to dismantle the construction and the local authorities will also soon fine involved individuals.
The Tràng An Landscape Complex was listed among World Heritage sites by UNESCO on June 23, 2014.
The complex, a mixed cultural and natural property, covers more than 6,000ha with three areas including the Hoa Lư Ancient Imperial Capital, which was chosen by various kings of the Đinh, early Lê and the beginning of Lý reigns between 968-1009; the Tràng An – Tam Cốc – Bích Động rivers and karst mountains site and Hoa Lư Primitive Forest stretching over the districts of Hoa Lư, Gia Viễn, Nho Quan, Tam Hiệp Town and Ninh Bình City in Ninh Bình Province.