|The corner of an abandoned housing area in Ha Noi's Ha Dong District. Stricter sanctions have been called for to deal with the situation. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh
HA NOI (VNS) — Estate management authorities and experts in Ha Noi are calling for stricter punishments for allowing buildings and lots of land to languish idly.
Pham Sy Liem, vice chairman of Viet Nam's Federation of Civil Engineering Association, urged the city to review and inspect unused buildings and lots, and punish those who have not paid their land use fees.
Liem, the former deputy construction minister, told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that these buildings' owners and investors should bear the administrative and environmental costs of the dilapidated lots.
The city should give these buildings extra yearly taxes, said Professor Dang Hung Vo, the former Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
Under the new draft Law on Construction, construction project licences would be revoked if construction didn't start within 12 months of approval being issued, said Bui Thi An, a National Assembly deputy. An said such regulations should be adjusted to include buildings and land lots.
Land use and land management have been a contentious issue in Ha Noi for many years, and municipal authorities have issued what they say are tough land use policies and increased project inspections.
Nguyen Van Tu, chairman of Nam Tu Liem District, said that his administration found 53 projects committing various violations last month. About 70ha sat idle on 31 projects' plots of land.
"Wasted land frustrates locals, because some of the plots enjoy prime locations, like the 70,000sq.m allocated to Kinh Bac Group in Me Tri, or the 1,600sq.m allocated to Song Hong (Red River) Joint Stock Company," Tu said. "That's not all. Many pieces of land have become dumping sites, or venues for social vices."
Between 2009 and 2014, the Ha Noi Department of Natural Resources and Environment issued 63 decisions to revoke more than 17 million sq.m of land from 59 organisations for various land law violations.
After a recent round of inspections the department told municipal authorities to take back 138,000sq.m of land. As a result, by mid-April 2015, 400,000sq.m had been revoked and earmarked for schools and other facilities.
To speed up the land revocation process, Nguyen Van Nam, director of the City People's Council's Department of Economics and Budget, suggested that the city increase the application of IT in land management.
"This is the best way to help the public monitor land information disclosures and avoid land lying idle because owners lack the financial capacity to operate their projects," Nam said. — VNS