Viet Nam News
Bồ Xuân Hiệp
HCM CITY — Nguyễn Thị Nghiêm let out a sigh of relief.
Her house in District 10, among many others in the city, will no longer be included in a city plan that required homeowners to postpone renovation to their homes to make way for a new road.
“I haven’t been able to renovate, rebuild or sell the house because of a city plan that has been delayed for more than 10 years,” Nghiêm, 60, told the Việt Nam News.
“I don’t see the feasibility of building a big road in an area that is so densely populated,” she said, adding that most residents on her alley off Tô Hiến Thành Street had lived there for more than 40 years.
In Thủ Đức District, residents on Street 18 have also been affected by the plan, which included construction of a bus station in the area.
While waiting for years, the residents saw the price of land drop sharply.
Homeowners in the affected areas, which include all of the city’s 24 districts, were not allowed to receive permits to renovate or rebuild their homes.
Trần Thị Dần, 80, who lives in Thủ Đức District, said she decided to divide her land plot to sell at much lower prices to people who would build “temporary” houses on them.
“We’ve been waiting for our house to be cleared to receive compensation, so we can move. The plan has been delayed for so long,” Dần said.
As part of the city’s urban planning, each district proposes plans or adjustments to projects in their area every five years.
This year, four districts, which are most affected by the plan (District 10 and Thủ Đức, Tân Bình and Tân Phú districts), have urged the city to abandon many of the original plans.
The original plans includesthe building of new roads, widening of existing roads, and demolishing of houses to make way for parks and other public facilities.
With such long delays, caused mostly by a lack of city funds, all of the city districts, except for outlying Hóc Môn District, have asked the city to abolish or adjust the plans, a few of which go back as early as 1980.
The city has agreed to all of the districts’ proposals to either abolish or adjust the original plans, and plans to offer favourable policies to the residents who have been affected.
The city approved District 10’s request to an adjusted plan, which originally called for widening three streets in the district to 12m.
Under the original plan, 150 houses would have been cleared, while each household would have required compensation of VNĐ4 billion (US$175,640), for a total of VNĐ600 billion ($26.34 million), which the district said was too costly.
The city has agreed to the widening of the road in certain sections by four to six metres only, and has approved adjustments to four of 21 other proposed road-widening projects in District 10.
In other districts, road construction has been cancelled altogether.
In Tân Bình District, a road from Lê Văn Sỹ Street to Hoàng Việt Street would have been expanded to 12 metres.
Ngô Văn Dũng of Tân Bình District’s Urban Management Department said many plans in the district had been delayed for a decade or more.
Because of the costs and low profits of such projects, the district had not been able to call for investment for some of the projects and proposed abolishing the original plan.
Previously, Tân Bình District had proposed that 21 areas be included in the city’s urban plan, but the HCM City People’s Committee rejected nine of them, with the remaining areas to be used for residential land only.
Nguyễn Ngọc Anh, deputy manager of District 10’s Urban Management Department, said the district in the last seven years had proposed eight plans, including building a number of roads in the middle of densely populated residential areas.
Since this would require huge capital for site clearance and compensation to residents, the district has asked the city to abandon the plan.
Nguyễn Thanh Toàn, deputy director of the city’s Department of Planning and Architecture, said the department would ask the Government to create special policies and incentives for residents living in the areas affected by plans that had been delayed or suspended for 10 to 20, or more, years. — VNS