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Airbase land used for civil businesses

Update: July, 18/2017 - 10:13
Local residents have expressed concern about the land around Biên Hòa Air Base, which has been hired out for workshops, garages, restaurants and cafes, Thanh Niên (Youth) Newspaper reported. — Photo thanhnien.vn

ĐỒNG NAI — Local residents have expressed concern about the land around Biên Hòa Air Base, which has been hired out for workshops, garages, restaurants and cafes, Thanh Niên (Youth) Newspaper reported.

Biên Hòa Air Base is a Việt Nam People’s Air Force military airfield located on an area of 1,100ha in Tân Phong District and Biên Hòa City of Đồng Nai Province, about 25km from HCM City.

Notably, dozens of hectares of land had been leased for low prices, the paper said.

According to the newspaper’s report, along the 500m-long road to the airbase, there are several restaurants, cafes, and ornamental gardens. Behind the restaurants were mini football stadium, gymnastic clubs, garages, and a range of workshops.

The numerous workshops on the side of the road have had a negative impact on people living nearby.

A local resident who wished to remain anonymous said "There was plenty of unused land around the airbase and the prices were very cheap. Opening restaurants here was easy because power and water were already available.”

“It has been five years since the first restaurants and workshops hired the land,” the man said.

The man said the land was managed by A42 Factory, belonging to the Air Defence and Airforce Technical Division.

The paper’s reporter saw that the airbase was a hive of activity day and night.

At sunset every day, the area was crowded with people going to play football, working out in the gym with loud music, or diners at restaurants making a lot of noise until late at night.

An owner of a window workshop revealed that he paid VNĐ15,000 (US$7) per sq.m to hire the land.

“The price was 2 or 3 times cheaper than other places outside the airbase. But we were worried because the land belonged to the military management so we didn’t know if we would be kicked off of it eventually,” he said.

Meanwhile, an owner of a garage said he had been renting the land for the last two years for VNĐ4.5 million ($205) per month.

“I was not worried about the land being taken back because many workshops around here were valued at VNĐ20 billion ($90,000),” he said.

According to the newspaper’s investigation, the Vina Trading Company was allocated the land for setting up an international trade and investment promotion area including a night bazaar and a food court. But the business model operated ineffectively, and the company rented out the land for the current occupants.

Airbase safety

Many civil activities in the area around a military airbase caused concerns over safety and security for Biên Hòa Airbase.

Nguyễn Văn Hưng, president of the veteran association of Trung Dũng Ward in Biên Hòa City said that from a spot on the hired land he could see airplanes, warehouses, hangars and fuelling stations.

“Notably, the separation between the land for civil businesses and the military areas was just a low fence. Penetration was easy,” Hưng said.

Meanwhile, Đặng Đức Hòa, a local resident said he opposed the leasing of land in military areas for civil businesses because this would not ensure safety and security for the airbase.

Hiring out military land for doing business also caused difficulties for the local government’s management and inspections.

Đào Xuân Nam, vice chairman of Tân Phong Ward People’s Committee, said “If we want to inspect any restaurants or workshops around the airbase, we have to contact the military first,”

The paper contacted A42 Factory for comment, but representatives refused to answer any questions. — VNS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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