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Renovation of Ha Noi's older buildings still not fast enough

Update: December, 17/2015 - 10:28
The Ha Noi construction department this year has conducted examinations on 42 dilapidated apartment buildings to identify run-down apartments in need of relocation and structural support. — VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi construction department this year has conducted examinations on 42 dilapidated apartment buildings to identify run-down apartments in need of relocation and structural support.

Among those buildings having been checked, two were categorised as being in type D, which means residents must be relocated to ensure safety.

The information was revealed by representatives of the municipal Construction Department on Tuesday at a meeting with media. The meeting aims to announce the results of a general review on quality verification and renovation of old apartment buildings in the city.

Vu Ngoc Dam, head of the Housing Management Department of Ha Noi's construction department, said that the majority of the residential buildings were built on weak foundations. Many buildings suffer from massive sinking, tilting and leaning such as block A-B of Ngoc Khanh residential quarter, blocks E6-E7 of Quynh Mai apartment building, blocks B7 and C1 of Thanh Cong residential quarter.

According to the examination of the department, due to the pressure of enlarging living areas and loose management, expanding and encroaching public land can be seen at all residential apartments in the city.

The expansion has affected the residents' escape in case of fire and increased the loading capacity of the construction work. Besides, faulty renovation and repair cause leaky walls and flooding.

Dam said that building maintenance has yet to be paid due attention, which results in rapid destruction and degradation, and threatens the life quality of inhabitants. In particular, most of the apartment buildings do not have fire prevention systems.

Statistics from the construction department show that there are about 1,516 two-to-five storey residential quarters in Ha Noi which were constructed between the 1960s and 1980s.

Only 14 out of more than 1,500 old buildings were reported to have been upgraded, according to Nguyen Chi Dung, deputy director of the municipal construction department, over the past 10 years.

He blamed the slow progress of upgrading and rebuilding old apartment buildings on financial difficulties. Some households even require compensation for their expanded areas, which lengthens the renovation process.

The State was lacking resources to rebuild all buildings, he said, adding that inhabitants who owned the buildings must be responsible for rebuilding their apartments.

Another challenge is the residents living on the second floor or higher may agree to rebuild their houses, however, the residents living on the first floor claim that they can no longer make use of this floor to run businesses if the building is under reconstruction.

Dung said that the department would have preferential policies to attract business investment on renovation projects, in addition to accelerating the examination of old apartment buildings to make a list of apartments in need of renovation and reconstruction. Next year, 135 old apartment buildings showing signs of leaning, tilting and massive destruction will be examined.

The department would submit to the municipal People's Committee the regulations which specify responsibilities of apartments' owners in renovating and rebuilding the quarters, Dung said. — VNS

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