|The proposed central square in HCM City’s Thủ Thiêm new urban area. Photo saigondautu.com.vn
HCM CITY — The vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee has urged agencies to follow guidance from the city’s Party Committee in building the country’s largest public square in the Thủ Thiêm new urban area.
Trần Vĩnh Tuyến said that the Standing Committee of the City Party Committee asked the People’s Committee to submit a feasibility report on the square.
He said the report must include the rationale for naming the central square after President Hồ Chí Minh, as well as the reasons for the proposed construction of a stilt house and fish pond similar to those used by the late president in Hà Nội.
The Standing Committee said the feasibility report should be promptly submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Politburo by the end of the month, and then to the city People’s Council by the end of this year.
After receiving a conclusion from the Politburo, the People’s Council will approve the investment policy and collect opinions from residents about details of the design.
The city People’s Committee chairman, Nguyễn Thành Phong, recently proposed naming the central square after President Hồ Chí Minh to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Covering 27ha, the work includes a central square, a flagpole of the fatherland, exhibition of President Hồ Chí Minh, and a stilt house and fish pond similar to those of Uncle Hồ but on a smaller scale.
There will be no statue of President Hồ Chí Minh at the central square as there is already one located in a small park in front of the HCM City People’s Committee on Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street in District 1, according to the Standing Committee of the Party Committee.
The central square is expected to be the largest public space in Việt Nam, and the highlight of the Thủ Thiêm new urban area, with the length of 700m and width of 80 to 200m.
In addition, a waterside park along the Sài Gòn River will cover 9.05ha and be 2km long, stretching from the international exhibition centre in the north to the sports and entertainment area in the south.
The central square is expected to be a venue for exchanges, cultural and political festivals and daily entertainment activities for residents and international visitors.
The square will connect with the city centre via HCM City’s 500-metre long pedestrian bridge crossing the Sài Gòn River at Mê Linh Square in District 1.
The entire central square is expected to accommodate 500,000 people for major cultural festivals.
The huge project has a total investment of over VNĐ6.5 trillion (US$278.75 million), according to a report from the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment.
The city legislature recently approved a plan to build an opera house in the Thủ Thiêm new urban area, but it has faced strong opposition from the public, many of whom said the project’s investment of VNĐ1.51 trillion was a waste of money.
They said the city needed capital to deal with more urgent issues like flooding, traffic gridlock and overloaded public infrastructure.
Covering a total area of 657ha, the Thủ Thiêm new urban area is located on the Thủ Thiêm peninsula in the city’s District 2, which faces downtown District 1 across the Sài Gòn River.
Approved by the Government in 1996, the proposed financial district and mixed-use urban area of HCM City is set to become the largest inner-city development in Southeast Asia.
To develop such a project, it has taken more than 10 years to complete site clearance of most of the Thủ Thiêm peninsula, with nearly 15,000 households already resettled. — VNS