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Ha Noi greenlights controversial centre

Update: December, 26/2014 - 09:10

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi People's Committee on Wednesday approved a controversial project to build an information and culture centre next to the Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake despite a storm of criticism from experts and the general public.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, the city's Vice Chairman, said that the committee had made the decision on the basis of a report by the People's Committee of Hoan Kiem District.

The district has three months to finish building the centre, he said.

When the centre is completed, it must strictly obey regulations, he said, adding, "all activities relating to doing business or providing any service are banned."

Hung also asked the district to publicise all information about the project and answer questions from residents living in the area where the centre is to be built.

The city's Planning and Architecture Department has been assigned the task of supervising the centre's construction.

The three-storeyed centre, with a height of 13.6 metres, will cover an area of about 240sq.m. Located at No 2, Le Thai To Street, the centre aims to help tourists by giving them extensive information about the capital city's attractions.

When it was first proposed, it came in for severe criticism with many, including architects, saying it would damage the landscape around the lake.

Residents were also worried that the centre would occupy a part of the public space near the lake. Instead of a concrete building, they suggested that the city builds a flower garden that will enhance views of the lake and provide a space for children to play.

However, the district authority said that the centre would be designed to suit the space, the architecture and the landscape of the lake. — VNS

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