|About VND24 trillion (US$1.1 billion) will be invested to upgrade cemeteries or build new ones. By 2050, the total land occupied by cemeteries throughout Ha Noi will be about 1,250ha. — Photo bizLIVE
HA NOI (VNS) — Authorities have approved several new cemeteries in Ha Noi to deal with overcrowding at most of the old places of burial. Space at the old cemeteries is tight as urbanisation pours thousands more people into outlying districts.
About VND24 trillion (US$1.1 billion) will be invested to upgrade cemeteries or build new ones. By 2050, the total land occupied by cemeteries throughout Ha Noi will be about 1,250ha.
However, creating cemeteries is not as easy as it seems. Despite the fact that death faces everyone, some cemeteries have stayed on the drawing board because of negative reactions by local residents.
Most don't want to live anywhere near a cemetery because of old superstitions or the fear that cemeteries may pollute the soil, said Pham Sy Liem, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Construction Association.
To receive the support of residents, he said it would be better to relocate the cemeteries to distant locations.
Tran Huy Dung, the director of the Land Development Centre, said expanding or creating cemeteries was slow or often came to a stop because of the response of residents.
Many people protested and blocked land clearance at a site chosen in Me Linh district to build Thanh Tuoc Cemetery Park.
Hoa Sen Vang Investment Joint Stock Company, the investor in the park, said residents even strongly opposed the building of a fence.
According to the Ha Noi steering committee, Yen Ky Cemetery Park in Ba Vi district faced a similar reaction.
Le Thi Phuong, a Ba Vi resident, said she opposed the project because of the risk of environmental pollution.
"I don't agree with the project because it would affect water resources as well as the environment," she said.
The authorities cannot implement the project due to unfinished land clearance, a representative of the committee said.
Vu Hong Khanh, vice chairman of the People's Committee, said to gain approval from residents, authorities should teach them about the importance of the projects.
He added that authorities should listen to residents, but also have reasonable compensation policies in place.
In addition, local authorities should have strict measures to deal with protestors, Khanh said. — VNS