DONG NAI (VNS)— The length of time it is taking to build Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai has been disrupting the lives of 4,500 households who live in the vicinity of the future airport for nearly a decade.
The original plans stipulated that all land clearances had to be completed by 2015, before any building work on the airport could begin.
Nguyen Khac Ngo, a local resident from Suoi Trau Commune in Long Thanh District, said that "there have been no public works undertaken in the commune for ten years."
"We have to use dirt roads instead of concrete roads, the commune's primary school has a leaky roof and no fence or school gate," he said.
Le Thi Hong, another resident, said that she owned 3ha of 20-year-old cashew trees which have to be removed and she wanted to replace them with another cash crop, but could not because she was afraid that she would not be compensated.
"I have no idea how long we will have to wait before being moved from here," she said.
A local resident in Long An Commune said that the only thing local people want to know is when they will be relocated.
"We are tired of living here on a temporary basis," he said.
Chairman of the People's Committee of Long An Commune Nguyen Duy Phuong said the commune had 600ha of land that needed to be cleared before any building work on the international airport could get underway.
The land clearance was initially planned to be carried out in two phases, he said.
However, the communal committee said that even they did not know exactly when to get on with clearing the land.
The Vice Chairman of southern Dong Nai Province People's Committee, Tran Van Vinh, said the construction of the international airport was scheduled to begin in 2015.
The amount of compensation and resettlement costs have been estimated to total over VND15 trillion (US$714 million), he said.
However, he added that the land clearance was too slow.
The committee has sent requests to the Ministry of Transport asking when local residents will be relocated but have yet to receive any feedback.
The airport, approved by the Government in 2005 to be built on a 5,000-ha plot of land, is expected to be operational by 2020, with the capacity to handle 25 million of passengers a year. — VNS