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Construction suspended on tourism project near Vietnam’s iconic flagpole

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 17:29 GMT+7
Construction suspended on tourism project near Vietnam’s iconic flagpole
Buildings at the construction site of a religious tourism project on a flattened mountain in Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The administration of Ha Giang Province in northern Vietnam has agreed in principle to halt construction on a massive religious tourism complex near a landmark flagpole in the province as a delegation of officials began inspecting the project on Tuesday.

The project has been under construction in Lung Cu Commune, located in Ha Giang's Dong Van District, since 2016.

Phuc Loc Ha Giang Corp., the project developer, leveled nearly half of a mountain to the northeast of the Lung Cu National Flag Tower in the same commune for the construction.

Last Friday, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism requested a comprehensive inspection into the project, saying that the construction had failed to follow state planning for Dong Van District.

An architect’s impression of a massive religious tourism complex in Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang, Vietnam is seen in this provided photo

An architect’s impression of a massive religious tourism complex in Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang, Vietnam is seen in this provided photo.

Particularly, the culture ministry said that a part of the project has been constructed within the “protection zone II” of the Lung Cu National Flag Tower, a national relic site.

Only constructions that serve to “protect and promote the value” of a relic site are permitted within this zone, according to Vietnam’s effective Law on Cultural Heritage.

However, the management board of the flag tower has claimed contrariwise, affirming that the project does not encroach on the area delineated for protecting the landmark flagpole.

A meeting involving provincial leaders and officials on Monday afternoon resulted in an “in-principle decision” to suspend the project’s construction, according to a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

A delegation of officials led by a provincial vice-chairman, joined by representatives of Phuc Loc Ha Giang Corp., conducted field measurement on Tuesday afternoon to determine whether the project encroaches on the protection area of the Lung Cu flagpole.

A mountain to the northeast of Lung Cu National Flag Tower is photographed before (A) and after it was flattened. Photo: T.T.D. - Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A mountain to the northeast of the Lung Cu National Flag Tower is photographed before (A) and after it was flattened. Photo: T.T.D. - Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Phuc Loc Ha Giang said it voluntarily halted construction on Tuesday afternoon for the field measurement although the company had not received any official suspension order from the provincial People’s Committee.

A representative of the firm told Tuoi Tre that it is willing to obey any construction suspension request from authorities.

“We have paid serious attention to feedback from relevant ministries, departments, and agencies as well as the public over the last few days,” the representative said, adding that the company is waiting for the result of the field measurement.

Phuc Loc Ha Giang also acknowledged its mountain-leveling work had negatively affected the green mountainous scenery, and that the company is looking to cover the mountain with greenery “as soon as possible."

“We are already planting trees in the flattened areas,” the representative said.

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