Hundreds of urban projects remain on paper in Hanoi
Updated : 09/17/2012 11:22 GMT + 7
Hundreds of urban and residential projects that had been approved for implementation in erstwhile Ha Tay Province and Vinh Phuc’s Me Linh District before they were merged into Hanoi have given the capital city the dubious distinction of having the country’s largest collection of “on-paper projects,” or those that will never be completed.
On August 8, 2010, Hanoi was expanded under a government master plan by merging with the whole Ha Tay Province, Vinh Phuc Province’s Me Linh District, and four communes in Luong Son District of Hoa Binh Province. The expansion was done while the projects in Ha Tay and Vinh Phuc had only received the go-ahead, and no construction work has ever been started.
In Me Linh District there are as many as 110 projects zoned for construction, and site clearance has been carried out on 2,312 hectares of land plots, whose owners have been relocated and compensated.
However all of these projects, 40 of which are to develop urban areas, now sit abandoned and covered with weeds.
Emerging as the most notable of them is the urban – golf course complex planned by debt-laden Vinashin, where all work stopped after panels introducing the project were erected in paddy fields across Me Linh District.
Convinced that the complex would provide a facelift for the countryside, local farmers were happy to receive compensation and had their agricultural land reclaimed to make way for the project. And now, six years after that happy day, locals say they have yet to see any work done on the complex.
“We have no idea if Vinashin is capable of continuing the project, given its current financial hardship,” said Tran Huu Hien, who had a large area of paddy field cleared for the project.
“They told us about bright scenarios when they inaugurated the project, and we haven’t seen any of them realized.”
Similarly, the Thach That urban area project approved by the People’s Committee of erstwhile Ha Tay Province also received the right to reclaim land days before the province was merged with Hanoi.
The project was intended to develop a “mega urban area,” which would be among the largest of its kind in Hanoi, locals who had to give their land plots to the project said.
More than 800 hectares of agricultural land in the locality were supposed to be cleared and handed over to the Nam Cuong Corporation since July 2008, according to Tran Anh Dung, chief of the inspectorate of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
However, the project was told to stop implementation after the newly-merged Hanoi conducted a review over all planned projects in the capital city.
“The Inspectorate found that Nam Cuong had yet to carry out any work on site clearance and compensation, and the project was no longer suitable for implementation under the master plan approved by the government in July 2011,” said Dung.
Dung said the land plots zoned to be reclaimed will thus be returned to farmers so they can continue their agricultural production.
“The city will soon sign the decision, and inform local residents so that they can continue their work at ease,” he asserted.