Tuesday, October 25 2016


Should illegal villas be demolished or not?

Update: March, 18/2016 - 09:00

Dear Readers,

Last week Việt Nam News asked you to share your thoughts with us on whether or not authorities should demolish illegally-built villas. People talk a lot about the dozens of illegal, unlicensed villas on the outskirts of Hà Nội – Ba Vì District. Such villas cost billions of đồng. Readers’ responses fell into two categories: those who agree with destroying unlicensed villas; and those who suggest using the villas for public purposes.

Here are some of your comments:


Phạm Hiền Anh, Vietnamese, Hà Nội

The villas were built illegally, without authorisation. They should be demolished to deter both their creators and future violators. Saying that ’demolishment is a waste’ is just an excuse for wrongdoing. When the creators of  these villas built them illegally in Ba Vì District, they accepted the risk: they might gain much from the villas or lose them

Now that the violations have been discovered, if these illegal villas are kept or used, it’s like accepting wrongdoing. Others might take advantage of such back door acceptance to do similar illegal things.

For example, there used to be illegal construction and building in Hà Nội, including building more floors than permitted or encroaching on public space. Owners of such places just paid fines and continued to use the buildings. It was a bad policy. In the short term, the policy saved money for violators. But in the long term, it failed to deter other violators, and illegal construction continued. At that time, authorities said that they could not address the problem.

So, in my opinion, strict punishment is needed in this case. The creators of such villas -- and all relevant State agencies and officials -- must take responsibility for the violations. Dozens of villas are not easily hidden. Local authorites must have known of them as soon as illegal construction started. Authorities failed to prevent the work early on. So they must be punished accordingly.

Lương Hồng Khanh, Vietnamese, Ðà Nẵng

I live in Ðà Nẵng, where there are two well-known illegally built villas at Hải Vân Pass. One of these villas belongs to an officer; the other one belongs to a businessman. The local government asked both men to demolish these illegal villas a long time ago.

But the businessman just kept appealing to authorities and agencies for permission keep his illegal villa. At the end of last year, Ðà Nẵng administration finally decided to raze everything, after getting Government approval. But they still have not finished the planned demolition. So local people are very confused.

In my opinion, the Government should destroy all illegally-built structures, regardless of how expensive they were to build. Related managerial agencies should also be fined an appropriate penalty for allowing such building violations to happen. There is no alternative solution for this problem, other than demolition.

Rhiannon Shannon, Hà Nội

I used to be a town planner. It’s called compulsory demolition. Authorities make offenders pay for the demolition, too.

Elena Rapowez, Hà Nội

In my country, the Government would nationalise the property and do with it as they please.

Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội

Who authorized construction of the Ba Vì villas? And where is the survey plan? Which government land man authorized this construction? Someone has to be punished.

Rather than destroy perfectly well built villas -- or forcing a rich guy to pay a fine he can easily afford -- why not confiscate the villas and reclassify them as public property? Let charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)  use them to train and retrain convicts, and for the poor, the elderly and any other group in need.

Quỳnh Nhung, Vietnamese, Prague

Maybe the Government should fine the owners of the illegal villas, then re-design the villas to make them suitable for poor and disadvantaged people. This would deter violators, plus not allow the villas to go to waste.

The punishment for the violators needs to be strict, so that they will not commit such violations again.

Thủy Dương, Vietnamese, Moscow

Demolition is the best choice. Wrongdoing deserves punishment. Other countries also demolish illegally-constructed buildings to ensure that people obey building regulations. In February, more than 100 kiosks and shopping centres near the Russian capital’s metro stations were destroyed, following the city government’s decision to remove structures built without formal planning permission. – VNS

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