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Draft building law draws flak

Update: March, 11/2015 - 09:02
An old apartment building in Ha Noi's Dong Da District. Construction experts have criticised a draft decree on upgrading old apartment buildings nation-wide as impractical and contravening other laws. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh

HA NOI (VNS) — A draft decree on building and upgrading apartments issued by the Ministry of Construction has been criticised by construction experts.

Nguyen Trong Ninh, deputy director of the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, which comes under the ministry, told Tien phong (Vanguard) newspaper the draft decree was set up to overcome obstacles in upgrading old apartment buildings by investors and landlords.

For instance, old apartment buildings that need upgrading are often in densely populated city centres where residents are not clearly aware of their rights and responsibilities during building upgrades.

"They often ask for too much compensation because they think that high profits are involved or do not co-operate during construction," said Ninh.

The draft decree proposes that the height of apartment buildings be only limited by structural constraints.

Investors claim that high apartment buildings ensure that residents can stay in their apartments if they do not want to move.

But Dao Ngoc Nghiem, deputy chairman of the Ha Noi Urban Planning and Development Association, said that the draft decree was contrary to the Law on Capital City passed by the National Assembly in 2012.

He said that compliance with the law meant that the inner city area in Ha Noi would have to reduce its population from 1.2 million to 800 thousand.

Therefore, Nghiem argued that raising the height of old buildings in city centres was against the law.

"The law is the country's strongest document, thus we should follow it by finding suitable measures," he said.

Le Van Lan, deputy chairman of the Ha Noi Association of Architects, said that raising the height of old apartment building to help investors raise funds was not recommended.

He also said that the State had regulations limiting population densities in city centres.

"If the ministry raises the height of buildings to satisfy investors, population density will increase and lead to traffic jams," he said. — VNS

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