|A building under construction which overlooks Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum in central Ha Noi has reportedly built more floors than it was given permission. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The remaining loopholes in regulations on urban construction management have resulted in a variety of unsolvable issues in dealing with illegal construction in Ha Noi, inspection officials have said.
Pham Van Loi, Head of Cau Giay District's Construction Supervision Division, said on Monday some investors are unwilling to cooperate with authorities and fail to submit required documents, particularly the construction licence, and thus it is hard for authorities to conclude whether the project is being implemented in accordance with the guidelines.
Loi took a construction project on Cau Giay Street as an example to prove that there should be measures to force the investors to provide all of their project documents to the authorities before it begins construction.
The official said that the project on Cau Giay Street had violated construction law by building three more stories than the allowance.
Despite being asked many times to send all of the documents, including the construction licence, to the authorities since mid-2013, the project's investors defied the requests and finally sent them last October.
Without the licence, authorities could not follow the progress of the project, and thus failed to detect violations, said Loi.
The investors were eventually imposed an administrative fine of VND80 million (US$3,600).
The authorities should have imposed stricter punishments such as suspending the project by cutting the electricity and water as well as preventing material transportation and halting workers from accessing the site, said Loi.
That was only one of many others cases, including the projects of 8B Le Truc, 88 Lang Ha, 250 Minh Khai, CT36 Tower in 326 Le Trong Tan, Dai Thanh and 38 Tran Thai Tong, all of which were found in violation of the regulations by exceeding the permitted height, misusing public space, constructing without a licence or making unauthorised changes and additions to the projects' original plans, the Tin Tuc (News) newspaper reported.
However, the authority is not permitted to suspend projects as punishment for investors' failure to cooperate with inspection agencies. Construction is suspended only when violations are found, said Loi.
"Administrative punishment alone is insufficient in preventing violations," Loi said. "The investors would rather pay fines to continue the construction work rather than send the project documents to the authority."
"When the authorities are given the right to suspend the construction work, the investors will have to cooperate with them and hand in project documents."
The Ha Noi Department of Construction asked the construction supervision division to collaborate with local authorities to handle the violations promptly and in accordance with law, a representative of the department said.
The department also asked the construction inspectorate to make regular project inspections. If any violations are found, the agencies must report it to the district authority to promptly handle the situation, he said. — VNS