In a residential area in HCM City, the place where the park should be is still an abandoned field with wild grass.—Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY – Many housing projects in HCM City lack parks though all their units have been sold out and building one is mandatory for getting a development licence.
Nguyễn Nhân Khoa, a lawyer, said residential areas should be handed over to local authorities for management once housing development is completed and all apartments and lands are sold.
But many developers do not build the park, abandon it or use the space for other purposes.
SaiGonRes residential area in District 8 sold 102 plots of land, and buyers were promised quality infrastructure and a 2,000sq.m park, but they are unhappy the investor, Sài Gòn Real Estate Joint Stock Company, failed to build the park.
Trương Nam Thành, a buyer who said he had paid billions of đồng to buy the land, complained to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng newspaper that eight years after people built and moved into their houses, the place where the park should be is still an abandoned field with wild grass.
As a result, besides the lack of space for recreational activities, during rains snakes slither out of the field into the roads and sometimes into houses, he said.
Thành and other residents have been demanding that the developer and local authorities should get the park built, but the District 8 People’s Committee claimed the developer has yet to hand the project over to authorities, and so they cannot undertake any work there.
The developer is pleading lack of funds and calling on buyers to wait longer.
Developers not building parks and so delaying the handover to authorities is a frequent occurrence in the city, the Department of Transport said.
There are hundreds of such projects in districts 8, 9, 12, Bình Tân, Bình Chánh, and Thủ Đức, it said.
The Khang An project in District 9 has 350 plots of land. Trần Kiều Trang, a resident there, said a one-hectare park had been promised, but the area earmarked for it has remained abandoned for 10 years. Its bushes are a fire hazard and sometimes attract drug users, she added.
The department works with district authorities to carry out inspections and deal with violations, but many investors offer excuses such as lack of funding and needing more construction time, or because not many residents have stayed there yet.
The Department of Construction, to which the city transferred the management of parks from the transport department last year, has said it would address the issue of developers not handing their projects over in time.
Various departments are working together to investigate the problem of developers not building parks and come up with recommendations.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hiếu, deputy head of the District 8 Urban Management Department, said district authorities cannot deal with and sanction violations themselves, and have to report to the city for action.
They have urged the city to force investors to build parks or get money from them and find new contractors, or use public funds if the developers are no longer in business, he added.
Khoa, the lawyer, said authorities have been too lenient on violations, and to avoid this problem of problem of missing parks, they should ensure investors complete all the promised utilities before issuing the Land Use Right certificate.
Trần Công Tạo, a legal expert, said the penalty for not handing over housing projects in time or failure to build utilities is just VNĐ40-50 million (US$1,723-2,154), which is not enough to deter such violations. - VNS