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Hanoi Officials Axed, Demoted Following Tree Cutting Scandal

While a few months have past since the Hanoi tree cutting scandal was in full swing, some Hanoi officials are feeling its aftermath as they city has dismissed, demoted and or reprimanded a number of employees.

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Officials that were punished for their roles in the tree purge include Tran Ngoc Hung, head of the Plant Engineering Supervision Office (fired); Tran Trong Hieu and Trinh Van Ly, head and deputy head of the Infrastructure, Environment and Underground Work Office (demoted); and Le Van Duc and Hoang Nam Son, The director and vice director of Construction Department (reprimanded). Many others were also chastised, such as leaders of the Hanoi Finance Department and the heads of the Department of Information and Communications, reports VnExpress.

The punishments come after “Inspectors determined that heads of the project failed to properly inform and gather opinion from the public, failing to communicate clearly that some were old and decaying and needed to be replaced for safety reasons, leading to widespread misunderstanding that Hanoi was chopping down its trees,” according to DTI News.

The controversial tree cutting program was launched in March only to be suspended a few days later following fierce public criticism.

A Facebook group, “6,700 people for 6,700 trees,” was created to protest the plan and claims famous scholars, researchers and architects as backers. It currently has over 60,000 likes.

Before it was halted, the city’s Department of Construction stated that many of the capital’s 29,600 trees were dying or already dead, adding that they posed a safety risk to drivers during the rainy season and hindered infrastructure projects.

Despite this, many Hanoians called on city authorities to revise their “reckless” plan as some of the trees are over one hundred years old and in good health.

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