Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s administration has yet to revoke any downtown land it gave to nine State agencies for their headquarters, despite the agencies moving into new digs in recent years.
The city gave 100ha of land in suburban districts to the agencies to construct their new headquarters in 2002 aiming to use its land in the downtown districts to reduce pressure on the city’s infrastructure, reduce traffic congestion and create more public space for citizens.
However, the city’s targets seemed to have been missed, with many ministries and sectors not handing over their old headquarters to the city administration, reported the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
For example, the Ministry of Home Affairs started to use its new building in Tôn Thất Thuyết Street in Cầu Giấy District in November 2010.
But the ministry did not hand over its old headquarters on Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Street to the city administration until the Ministry of Finance decided to allow the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to use the home affairs ministry’s old headquarters in May 2017.
Additionally, the General Department of Việt Nam Customs opened its new headquarters in 2014 on Dương Đình Nghệ Street of Cầu Giấy District. But the agency still uses its old headquarters as a school to train customs staff instead of handing it over.
Another example is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The ministry moved to its new headquarters in Tôn Thất Thuyết Street in Cầu Giấy District in 2012. Although the area of its new headquarter is three times bigger than the previous location, the ministry still uses the old headquarters on Nguyễn Chí Thanh Street.
A representative of the environment ministry explained that the ministry was assigned to manage five sectors related to the environment at its establishment. However, the ministry was recently given three more sectors to handle, predicating the need for both locations.
Nguyễn Hữu Nghĩa, deputy director of the Hà Nội’s Natural Resources and Environment Department, said the agency takes responsibility of managing land in the city, said "There is no specific sanction to fix the situation."
The problem causes numerous difficulties for the department, the city administration and agencies, he said.
A representative from the Ministry of Finance said, “Ministries and sectors that do not seriously obey regulations on handing over its old headquarters are blamed for the situation.”
A representative from the Hà Nội Urban Planning and Development Association said the Government should use sanctions to force the ministries and sectors to hand over old headquarters to the city. The revoked land should be used for public purposes, he said.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hà Nội Nguyễn Đức Chung said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc would chair a meeting to fix the situation soon.
The Government has now assigned the Ministry of Construction to make a report on re-arranging headquarters of 13 other ministries and sectors by 2030. The ministries and sectors are expected to be moved to the Mễ Trì area and the area west of West Lake. The new headquarters are expected to costs about VNĐ17 trillion (US$748 million).— VNS