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Resettled families bemoan poor-quality flats

Update: November, 22/2012 - 10:17

 

Residents of Nam Trung Yen resettlement area in Ha Noi have complained about poor maintenance services and building quality, especially elevator and water-pump breakdowns. —VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Inhabitants in high-rise resettlement apartments in the capital are complaining about poor maintenance, particularly for elevators and water pumps, which has left the elderly and children without water or having to climb hundreds of steps to their apartments.

During a visit to some of the 149 buildings in 11 resettlement areas which are seriously deteriorated, Ha Noi Mayor Nguyen The Thao met with the residents and ordered building managers to ensure the legal rights of the residents.

The residents asked him to investigate the use of 2 per cent of the value of the apartments for maintenance before they moved in.

Nam Trung Yen Apartment's resident Nguyen Van Duc said there were two elevators in his building but only one operates and the other operated only sometimes.

"When we reported the incident to the building management unit, we simply received an answer: ‘The red camera in the elevator wasn't working'."

It took several days for technicians to repair the camera in the lift that sometimes worked.

Duc said a few days without a lift were an ordeal for people living on the fifth to the 12th floors.

Chu Thi Le in Cau Giay District said her residential apartment was commissioned in 2005.

After seven years, all the buildings had seriously deteriorated. Elevators in two of the high rises had frequent problems with red cameras. Water pumps were also a problem.

"One pump has been broken for more than a year," Le said.

"And what did we pay two per cent of the value of our apartments for?" she asked. (On an average, each apartment owner has to pay VND2-20 million (US$50-$1000) for maintenance, depending on the area of the size of their apartment).

Ha Noi Housing Development and Management Company director Nguyen Duc Son said: "When we receive a complaint we have to follow certain administrative procedures.

"The first step is to invite representatives from the Department of Construction and the residence group to a meeting and verify the problem.

"Then we have to ask a serviceman to come in to check and provide a detailed report, which is then drafted to submit to the higher authority for approval.

"Such administrative procedures are inconvenient to all parties, yet there is no option but to follow the procedures," Son said.

Regarding the money paid for maintenance before residents moved in, Ha Noi Department of Construction deputy director Nguyen Quoc Tuan said the sum had been transferred to the city's budget.

"There must be a specific plan in advance to withdraw the money," Tuan said. "It is a real challenge for the parties involved."

He suggested a better way would be the Housing Development and Management Company to establish a management board for each building, which would be recognised by the local authorities as a legal representative.

Such a board would help ensure maintenance was carried out quickly and properly.

Thao recommended that for the time being, the management company get the repairs done as soon as possible and appoint people to be on duty around the clock. — VNS

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