Thousands of households have relocated and resettled for the big-ticket Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City, but a few are standing firm.
A video captured by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter on Saturday showed that in the middle of the construction site of the giant airport project appear some houses left.
Among them, a few seem to fall into deep holes.
Cloaked in dust from the construction site
Along the two sides of a route to the construction site were thousands of vehicles, machines, and workers that were doing the leveling work.
Two households are still living in Suoi Trau 1 Hamlet in Binh Son Commune. The area has land reclaimed to implement the airport project.
Meanwhile, some residents moved out of their houses, but declined to hand over their land.
Le Minh Quang, one of the two households left at the construction site, said that he is facing difficult living conditions due to dust from the site and degraded roads. Luckily, he is still provided with water and electricity.
He goes out to get hired for a living every day, Quang said, adding that in the past, his family had two land lots with 600 square meters of residential land.
The land lot attached to a house was registered under his wife’s name. In 2021, he and his wife got divorced.
Via the project, his ex-wife and children were compensated and resettled.
Meanwhile, Quang, who has no house, is staying temporarily at his ex-wife’s old house despite receiving compensation.
He also wrote to the grassroots authorities asking for a resettlement slot as his land lot registered under his name was reclaimed.
“My marriage ended in divorce, but I have no houses. Therefore, I am still staying here pending the consideration from the authorities. I expect officials to promptly handle my request so that I can move out of the construction site,” he said.
Three other households which are not far from Quang’s residence have yet to hand over their land to the local authorities. Their houses are surrounded by the leveled surface of the project and covered in the dust.
|A photo shows Ngo Quang Hanh’s house that seems to lie in a hole at the Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Striving to convince residents to move
Explaining why some households have yet to move, Duong Ngoc Duc, vice-chairman of the Binh Son Commune People’s Committee, said that commune- and district-level officials had repeatedly called on residents to leave and hand over their land to the authorities.
“We have given adequate explanation and replied to their complaints, but these households failed to follow regulations on compensation and resettlement that were approved by the province. They have demanded more compensation than the regulated levels,” he said.
Citing the cases of Le Van Thanh and Hoang Thi Thuy, whose houses are affected by the airport project, the representative of the Binh Son Commune People’s Committee said that as per the province’s approved resettlement plan, all residents must draw for land replacements.
Residents whose land lot covers an area of 250 square meters or more will draw for an equal or larger land piece.
All, except Thanh and Thuy, have cooperated and followed the regulations. The two requested a land lot of 300 square meters. This does not match the approved plan.
“Officials have encouraged them to relocate from the construction site many times, and sent them five announcements for the draw. However, they refused to follow suit. The commune has reported the problem to the higher-level authorities to proceed with the site clearance,” vice-chairman Duc affirmed.
Speaking of the case of Le Minh Quang, who asked for a resettlement slot, Duc said that he and his wife divorced in May 2021 after the announcement on site reclamation had been issued in late December 2018. As such, their joint assets had previously been reviewed and calculated for compensation and resettlement.
The commune explained that after handling the resettlement for all affected residents, officials would report his case to the province for consideration, but Quang disagreed and said that he would only relocate after drawing for a land lot.
As for Do Thi Yen, as her family is listed as a poor household, while she has lived in the commune since 1975 and is a single mother, the commune decided to propose the province offer her a basic land lot at a resettlement area.
Le Van Tiep, chairman of Long Thanh District, where Binh Son Commune is located, told Tuoi Tre that the Long Thanh People’s Committee had repeatedly persuaded these residents to move out of the construction site, but the efforts were in vain.
Officials will continue to encourage them to relocate and hand over their land. If they fail to cooperate, the district will take coercive measures.
The Long Thanh International Airport project, some 40 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, will span an area of 5,000 hectares of land in Binh Son Commune, Long Thanh District upon completion.
The airport, a key national project, carries a price tag of over VND336.6 trillion (US$14.4 billion) and has an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo.
The first phase of the airport project, which can handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo a year, is slated for completion in 2025.
The airport project, which got off the ground in 2021, is expected to ease pressure on the overcrowded Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Electric devices are removed from a house at the Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|A house is empty and dirty. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|A power meter at a household is not used any more. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|A corner of a household that refused to move out of the construction site of the Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Le Minh Quang sent a request to officials proposing offering him a resettlement land lot for his reclaimed lot that was registered under his name. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Hoang Thi Thuy has her residential land lot with an area of 300 square meters reclaimed, so she is entitled to draw for a land lot covering an area of 250 square meters or more. However, Long Thanh District has sent her five announcements to make the draw and she failed to follow suit. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Thousands of households have received compensation and built their houses at the Loc An - Binh Son resettlement area in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre