Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Twenty years since the launch of the Thủ Thiêm new urban area project in District 2, many people amongst the 15,000 having to relocate, are still living in temporary shelters.
The people have refused to resettle in Bình Khánh Ward. An Phú Area in District 2 is where they have chosen to construct their huts.
Nguyễn Thị Lan is among them.
In 2009, her family had to move, and were compensated VNĐ18 million (US$790). The paltry sum was not enough to buy a new apartment, so they built a house in Nhơn Trạch District, Đồng Nai Province instead. Five years ago, struggling to find a stable job, she decided to return to HCM City to live with her sister in An Phú.
Lê Mỹ Phượng’s family have lived there for more than seven years. She told Vietnam News Agency that her land of 187sq.m was taken for the Thủ Thiêm project. The compensation she was paid could only pay for a photocopier and a sewing machine, not an apartment.
With tears in her eyes, Đỗ Thi Tuyết, another resident, said that her family used to own three houses covering 130sqm each, but they were taken for VNĐ150 million ($6,600) in total. Two of her houses used to be tailor’s shops, with 20 workers in their heyday. Now, Tuyết’s family manages a small shop, and the earnings are just enough to cover basic amenities.
According to District 2 People’s Committee, 106 houses were sacrificed for the An Phú Area. The majority were in Thủ Thiêm. Local authorities persuaded 44 families to leave, but 22 insisted on staying.
Within walking distance of An Phú is the resettlement area of 17.3ha in Bình Khánh Ward.
Nguyễn Bích Vân moved to a new apartment for about a fortnight after six years living in An Phú. In the past six years, the whole family had to live in a house of only 21sq.m which was unbearable during hot spells and in the rainy season.
Vân is still waiting for support from local authorities.
“By encouraging people to move to the resettlement apartments from An Phú, we just want to offer them better living conditions while waiting for policies to be changed. District 2 will try to handle resettlement policies for people affected by the Thủ Thiêm project by the end of 2018,” said a district representative.
Last week, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, Secretary of HCM City Party Committee visited the families and spoke to them about why they wanted to stay.
The residents told Nhân that they were still waiting for the conclusion of the Government Inspectorate about the various legal isues of the project, including the project’s boundary and compensation and resettlement decisions.
A special task force to determine the legal status of the project had been set up, according to Nhân.
“If we discover something is wrong, we will admit and correct it. I will continue to meet with Thủ Thiêm residents until the dispute is settled. If the households are located outside the boundary of the project area, they will not have to move,” Nhân stated at another meeting on June 20.
The conclusion, which was expected on July 15, has yet to be announced, leaving the residents in another limbo. — VNS