Officials meet with citizens in land dispute

Update: June, 09/2018 - 09:00
Nguyễn Hồng Điệp, head of the Central Citizens’ Board of the Government Inspectorate, talks with residents who were not allowed to attend a meeting about a land dispute in the Thu Thiem new urban area. Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — The head of the Central Citizen Board of the Government Inspectorate on Friday met with resident representatives in the Thủ Thiêm new urban area in HCM City’s District 2 to settle a contentious land dispute in the locality.

Nguyễn Hồng Điệp, accompanied by Huỳnh Cách Mạng, vice-chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the board would report the outcome of the meeting to the Prime Minister before July 15 as requested by the PM.  

The Government and central agencies have paid close attention to the Thủ Thiêm land dispute, but many problems could arise during the process of resolving the dispute, which needs the direction of the Prime Minister, Điệp said.

It will take a lot of time to collect evidence, and more discussions with residents will have to be scheduled in the near future, he added.

“We hope you can sympathise with us. We are here now. Do not worry,” Điệp said to representatives of the seven households who were allowed to attend the meeting.

Lê Thị The, of Bình An Ward, said that the longstanding problem should be resolved as soon as possible.

She also asked the Government to set up an inspection team for the Thủ Thiêm new urban area dispute. 

Meanwhile, resident Lê Văn Lung, of Bình An Ward, said that, before reporting to the PM, the inspection team must contact residents to receive evidence about the new urban area.

“We are willing to cooperate with the new leadership of the city People’s Committee because this mistake lies in the previous city leadership,” Lung said. 

He also asked Huỳnh Cách Mạng, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, about a series of maps related to the planning of the Thủ Thiêm urban area that were previously released by Võ Viết Thanh, former chairman of the city People’s Committee. 

“So far, we have heard nothing from the city government on the legal value of the maps,” he said. “Residents want to hear what the city has to say about this issue.”

Mạng said the PM has urged the city to resolve the issue and that he has been assigned by city leaders to coordinate with the Central Citizen Board of the Government Inspectorate to resolve the issue for the residents.

Secretary of HCM City Party Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân also promised to meet Thủ Thiêm residents after the fifth session of the XIV National Assembly, which will end on June 15. 

Nhân also promised that there would be a satisfactory solution for the Thủ Thiêm land dispute. 

Last month, a delegation from the HCM City National Assembly, including Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm, chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Council; Phan Nguyễn Như Khuê, deputy head of the delegation; and Trịnh Ngọc Thúy, deputy chief judge of the People’s Court of HCM City, held an eight-hour meeting with the residents. 

More than 50 opinions from the residents were reported to the National Assembly delegation. 

Recently, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also ordered HCM City authorities and relevant agencies to quickly settle the land disputes involving the Thủ Thiêm new urban area.

The Thủ Thiêm new urban area project was approved by the then-Prime Minister on June 4, 1996 in Decision No 367. 

For many years, residents in the project area have been submitting complaints about land reclamation and site clearance for construction of the Thủ Thiêm new urban area to the city and central governments.

Covering a total area of 657ha, the Thủ Thiêm new urban area is located on Thủ Thiêm peninsula in HCM City’s District 2, which faces downtown District 1 across the Sài Gòn River.

Approved by the Government in 1996, the proposed financial district and mixed-use urban area of HCM City is set to become the largest inner-city development in Southeast Asia.

To develop such a project, it has taken more than 10 years to complete site clearance of most of Thủ Thiêm peninsula, with nearly 15,000 households already resettled. 

More than 99 per cent of land in the proposed area has been cleared. — VNS