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Civilian use of Miếu Môn airfield illegal

Update: July, 26/2017 - 09:00
All land belonging to the Miếu Môn airfield, the focus of a controversy in Hà Nội a few months ago, is defence land, the Hà Nội inspectorate has concluded. — Photo

HÀ NỘI – All land belonging to the Miếu Môn airfield, the focus of a controversy in Hà Nội a few months ago, is defence land, the Hà Nội inspectorate has concluded.

Officials said the conclusion was made after a comprehensive inspection on the management, use and handling of the Miếu Môn airfield’s land area within the administrative boundary of Đồng Tâm Commune, Mỹ Đức District. 

The area was at the heart of a scandal late March and mid-April, when 38 civil servants and some police officers were held hostage by local residents protesting what they considered an unjustified revoking of land on which they’d built homes and lived for many years. 

According to the inspectorate’s conclusion released on Monday, the airfield has a total area of 236.7 ha as measured by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on June 21. The figure was up 28.7 hectares from the area specified in the Prime Minister’s Decision 113/TTg dated April 14, 1980. 

The increased area of 28.7 ha is part of the 31.9 ha of land affected by construction activities in Chương Mỹ District. The area, which is not suitable for agricultural production, is included in the phase II planning for the Miếu Môn airfield. It was handed over to the Engineering Arms High Command by the Lương Mỹ State-run Farm, the inspectorate said. 

Among the 236.7ha of the Miếu Môn airfield area, 64.03 ha fall within the administrative boundary of Đồng Tâm Commune. 

The Hà Nội inspectorate said that since 1981, the entire Miếu Môn airfield in Đồng Tâm Commune has been managed by defence units.

However, prolonged management laxity by the defence units and the Đồng Tâm  People’s Committee had allowed many violations. 

The defence units had signed annual contracts with the Đồng Tâm People’s Committee on using the land for cultivation. The contract expired in 2012, but local residents were still carrying out agricultural activities in the area. The defence units also failed to move some households who’d settled on the defence land before 1980. The households were allowed to encroach on more land, illegally build structures and transfer land to others without any measures being taken against such activities.

The Đồng Tâm People’s Committee was also found to have mismanaged the land, resulting in unlicensed constructions on defence land. From 2003 to 2010, it also certified land inheritance and land transfers for households, which was not within its jurisdiction and violated land management regulations. 

In February 2017, some citizens measured and divided some land area of the Miếu Môn airfield on which the military-run telecom group Viettel was carrying out a defence project. Although the Đồng Tâm People’s Committee informed the citizens that this was defence land and asked them not to violate the law, some persons deliberately used machinery to illegally divide land and build structures, the inspectorate said. 

These activities seriously violated Clause 1 of Article 12 of the 2013 Land Law, and flouted social order and safety, it added. 

In its conclusion, the inspectorate also clarified rights and wrongs in local residents’ denunciations relating to the land area. 

Based on the conclusions, the municipal People’s Committee has instructed Mỹ Đức District People’s Committee and related agencies to annul documents certifying land sales and inheritance issued illegally by the Đồng Tâm People’s Committee and strictly punish officials involved.

In terms of Party disciplinary measures, eight officials have been expelled from the Party, six have received warnings, and five have been reprimanded.

Under administrative measures, 12 officials have been warned, one reprimanded and one dismissed. Mỹ Đức District police have launched legal proceedings against 14 suspects and detained two former officials of the Đồng Tâm administration for investigation. 

The municipal inspectorate has proposed that the city People’s Committee send written requests to the defence ministry on tightening management of defence land, including the Miếu Môn airfield, and take measures to take back defence land that has been leased, occupied or sold illegally. 

The municipal People’s Committee has also been asked to instruct the municipal police to co-ordinate with the defence ministry’s crime investigation agency to investigate and strictly punish violations by related officials and individuals in the management and use of defence land of Miếu Môn airfield within the administrative boundary of Đồng Tâm Commune. 

The Mỹ Đức District People’s Committee has been asked to work with defence units to implement strong measures to take back illegally used land and hand it over to the Viettel group for construction of defence facilities. --VNS 



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