Part of the first floor of N14A Định Công Building in Hoàng Mai District is used as drinks shop. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Nghĩa
HÀ NỘI — Stores, restaurants and offices have been opened illegally on the first floors of relocation buildings in Hà Nội, annoying residents.
Bustling businesses are common in relocation buildings in Thanh Xuân District, Hoàng Mai District, Cầu Giấy District and Hai Bà Trưng District.
Besides the first floors, pavements around the buildings are also occupied by businesses, Vietnam News Agency reported on Monday.
Because of the illegal use of public space, parking areas and community space in the buildings have been narrowed.
Phan Thị Hồng Minh, a resident in N6C Trung Hoà-Nhân Chính Building, said restaurants had been opened on the first floor of her building, making noise and traffic jams, especially during the evening.
Minh said that residents complained a lot about the issue but their protestations fell on deaf ears.
At N11A Dịch Vọng Building, the first floor is used for a library and food stalls. Traffic jams usually occur in the morning when people go shopping and the building’s parking area is usually full of food or tables and chairs.
Nguyễn Văn Hùng, 35 years old, living in N11B Dịch Vọng Building, that people ran businesses on the roads, leaving waste in front of the building.
He was concerned that if there was a fire or explosion, rescue teams would struggle to access the building.
In June last year, the Hà Nội People’s Court imprisoned four officers of Hà Nội Housing Development and Management Ltd Company for illegally renting 27 locations on the first floors of buildings.
The violators were sentenced from 30 months to 10 years and six months in jail for abusing power and had to return nearly VNĐ22 billion (US$947,800).
The municipal People’s Committee assigned the company to manage 148 relocation buildings with first floors’ area of nearly 57,000 sq.m.
Between 2010 and 2016, the company leased 21 individuals or organisations more than 4,038sq.m at 27 buildings to run businesses without approval from the city People’s Committee. The company did not pay total rental fees of more than VNĐ20 billion to the State budget.
To curb such violations, the municipal People’s Committee has decided the first floors of relocation buildings are public assets and must not be rented for business purposes.
Residents living in the buildings contribute funding to operate, maintain and repair the spaces. Local authorities can assist the management and maintenance if funding is available.
Housing expert Lê Văn Thịnh, former head of Construction Works Quality Management Division under the Ministry of Construction, said that he agreed with the ban on business on the first floors of relocation buildings.
Residents in the buildings lacked public space for community activities, he said, adding that businesses on the first floors of relocation buildings posed risks of environmental hygiene problems, fires and affected local social order and security.
Thịnh said that drastic measures were needed to tackle the issue, including stricter punishment. Moreover, authorities should pay more attention to creating jobs for relocated people and ensuring infrastructure in relocation areas including markets or parking areas. — VNS