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Resettlement, labour problems hold up road projects

Update: November, 03/2012 - 15:16
Vinh Thinh Bridge will link the town of Son Tay in Ha Noi with Vinh Tuong District in Vinh Phuc Province. Early land clearance will enable the project to be completed ahead of schedule. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Nguyen The Thao, chairman of the Ha Noi People' s Committee, plans to help those affected by the construction of major transport projects in both urban and rural areas to find new places to live.

"The resettlement work is a pivotal task for the city," Thao told a meeting held recently by the Ministry of Construction (MOC) that focused on land compensation for the 12 major transportation projects in the capital city.

He promised to work closely with MOC to make sure the 12 projects will be completed by 2030 as scheduled.

Only 10 per cent of the work is currently complete, according to the Ha Noi Land Resettlement Steering Committee. The committee attributed the delay to the intransigence of those working on the projects as well as local authorities. In addition, resettlement sites were not being chosen as quickly as they should be, and those responsible for the resettlement activities had yet to receive all the necessary funds.

For the remaining two months of the year, the Ha Noi People's Committee has given instructions to all districts and towns to complete their resettlement work for key projects such as the Nhat Tan Bridge (which crosses the Red River) including the bridge approach roads, the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Express Way (which runs through Soc Son District) and the Vinh Thinh Bridge in Son Tay Town.

To speed up the process of resettlement, municipal authorities have ordered the local authorities to build seven new urban areas for that purpose on some 160 ha in total.

Addressing the participants, Dinh La Thang, minister of Transport, said he would make sure the 12 projects were completed in accordance with the schedule if the matter of land clearance was resolved.

According to reports filed by authorities from affected districts and towns, the land clearance areas are not big – just 2-3ha in each locality, on average. But the problem is that the acquired plots in a project are fragmented – often more than 10 spots – presenting a major hurdle for the builders.

Following the meeting with MOT, construction on Vinh Thinh Bridge, the longest bridge crossing the Red River, has picked up pace. Vinh Thinh Bridge, which measures almost 5.5km in length, serves as an artery linking the northwestern provinces with Ha Noi. Construction workers work around the clock in the hope of putting the bridge into commission in December 2014. But currently only 36 per cent of the work has been done. They pinned their hopes on the promise made by Chairman Thao to have "clean" land for the builders to finish their projects in time.

Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy director general of the Thang Long Project Management Board, has said that when the bridge is commissioned, it will help people and vehicles cross the river much more safely than going by ferry, particularly in the monsoon season. — VNS

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