Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc delivers speech during a working session with city officials yesterday.– VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged the capital city of Hà Nội to develop towards becoming a green, smart city based on the rule of law during a working session with city officials yesterday.
The PM hailed the city for its improved business climate and administrative reforms, and for leading the way in the new rural development campaign. The rate of poor households in the city has been reduced to 1.7 per cent. It also leads the country in human development index in culture, education, healthcare and sports.
He also spoke highly of many innovative ideas and the successful application of scientific and technological advances in the management of the capital city.
According to the PM, the biggest challenge for Hà Nội is how to manage a mega urban area, along with those relating to transforming production models, workforce training, technological application, resources for infrastructure development, and public services. He singled out the problem of urban construction in the city.
Suggesting several action plans, the PM stressed the need for Hà Nội to work closely with neighbouring localities to minimise policy overlaps and fully exploiting land resources, while continuing to enhance the management capacity of the contingent of public servants in combination with corruption prevention.
He required Hà Nội to continue to work to meet criteria for a city of peace, especially those regarding social and residential communities, and maintain its status as a cultural city representing Vietnamese culture.
At the same time, Hà Nội should push forward with building a transparent and equal business environment, putting citizens and enterprises at the centre of its services, PM Phúc said, urging the municipal authorities to continue pooling public resources, especially from the private sector, to raise capital for infrastructure works such as metro lines.
In his opinion, it is necessary to issue a decentralisation mechanism for the city in line with the law.
The PM recommended that the city relocate universities, businesses and hospitals out of the inner area to ease traffic jams, which have become a pressing issue for local residents.
Regarding the problem, Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng suggested Hà Nội reduce the population of the inner city through building high-quality urban areas in the suburbs and accelerating the progress of urban railway routes to ease traffic congestion.
Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình called for issuing a special mechanism for Hà Nội to enable the capital city to develop more rapidly.
Expressing his thoughts on the rearrangement of Hà Nội’s public administrative apparatus, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ agreed with the city’s proposals and urged all possible policy support to Hà Nội and amendments to the Law on the Capital City.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung reported at the meeting that the city collected VNĐ146.4 trillion (US$6.36 billion) for the State budget in the first nine months this year, or 71.5 per cent of the estimate and up to 16.2 per cent annually.
The city attracted 398 foreign-invested projects with registered capital of $2.16 billion, 22 others in public-private partnership worth an estimated VNĐ60 trillion in the period. At the same time, the city recorded 18,685 newly-established firms, up 10 per cent year-on-year, raising the total number of operating businesses to 225,700.
Hà Nội ranked third among 63 cities and provinces nationwide in terms of the public administration reform (PAR) index, up 6 places from 2015, and was placed second in terms of readiness for technological application. The rate of business registration online hit 96 per cent while tax e-filing and electronic customs procedures reached 98 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively.
However, rampant violations of construction and land use rules along with serious traffic congestion are among major causes of public concern.
Calls for cautious renovation
PM Phúc has asked the People’s Committee of Hà Nội to exert caution while planning the renovation of the Hà Nội railway station.
He said the construction must ensure sustainable development.
The Hà Nội People’s Committee has approved a project to upgrade the capital’s old railway station and surrounding areas into a Japanese-style, modern urban depot surrounded by buildings of up to 70 stories. The project would be carried out in stages, to be completed by 2035.
The plan calls for six zones of high-rise buildings between 40 and 70 storeys for financial and media purposes, a railway station, and three areas of low-rise buildings with a park, international trade zone and a new lifestyle zone.
The project will cover a total area of 98ha in the districts of Đống Đa, Hoàn Kiếm, Ba Đình and Hai Bà Trưng. The total investment capital is estimated at VNĐ 23.8 trillion (US$1.01 trillion).
The project report was prepared by the city’s Department of Planning and Architecture in consultation with Japan’s Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Ltd (NSC).
However, the plan has generated opposition from architectural experts, who argue that it would disrupt the city’s planning, affect historical monuments nearby, greatly increase population density and worsen traffic.
The committee is collecting opinions from ministries and sectors before proposing it to the government. — VNS