Construction begins on the Lộc An-Bình Sơn resettlement area for households affected by the Long Thành International Airport project in Đồng Nai Province. — Photo nhandan.com.vn
ĐỒNG NAI — The southern province of Đồng Nai has mobilised all resources to speed up the progress of several major transport projects, including the Long Thành International Airport.
The projects are expected to drive sustainable economic growth not only for the province but also for the Southern Key Economic Region and the entire country.
The Long Thành International Airport, the country’s largest-ever project, will cost VNĐ336.63 trillion (US$14.53 billion). Its construction is divided into three phases. The first phase is expected to begin construction next year.
More than 5,000ha of land, which belongs to 18 organisations and nearly 5,300 households with a total of 15,000 people in Long Thành District, have to be cleared to build the airport. Another 364ha will be required to build the two resettlement sites.
The total cost for ground clearance, compensation and resettlement support is estimated at nearly VNĐ23 trillion ($992 million).
The province is set to give priority to site clearance on an area covering 1,810ha. It has paid compensation to the Đồng Nai Rubber Corporation to acquire 1,180ha owned by the company to build two resettlement areas in Lộc An and Bình Sơn communes in Long Thành District.
About 130ha has been acquired from 330 households with compensation payments of more than VNĐ625 billion ($27 million).
Compensation rates and detailed compensation plans are being considered for the remaining area and are expected to be handed over for construction of the airport in October.
Most of the affected households have agreed to the compensation and support offered.
Phạm Văn Cư, a resident in Bình Sơn Commune, said he had received land compensation of VNĐ2.1 billion ($90,600) for his land of 4,200sq.m. He said the airport was necessary and agreed to the State’s policies on compensation rates and resettlement support.
“I'll deposit my money at a bank to earn interest while waiting for arrangement of resettlement housing or land lots,” he said.
At the end of April, the provincial People’s Committee gave priority to building technical infrastructure for the Lộc An - Bình Sơn resettlement area that will provide new living areas for 28,500 people.
The work includes drainage routes outside of the resettlement area's boundary and four main roads. The work is expected to be completed in October.
Construction of 12 subdivisions and electricity, lighting and water supply systems in the resettlement area will be completed in December.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in July asked the provincial authority to complete site clearance for all land for the airport project next year. To achieve the goal, compensation payments to all affected households must be completed by the end of this year.
Lê Văn Tiếp, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said about 50 staff from departments and branches moved to Long Thành District last year to carry out the project’s land compensation and site clearance.
But the district authority asked for 40 additional staff due to the heavy workload. The additional staff moved to the district in August to help speed up the work.
A number of other key transport projects are being implemented in the province.
They include Bến Lức - Long Thành Expressway between Long An and Đồng Nai provinces, Phan Thiết - Dầu Giây Expressway between Bình Thuận and Đồng Nai provinces, Dầu Giây Intersection, and Ring Road No 3 linking HCM City with Ðồng Nai and Bình Dương provinces.
Phan Thiết - Dầu Giây Expressway is an eastern section of the North-South Expressway with a total length of nearly 100km. The section passing through Đồng Nai Province will extend more than 51km.
A total of 412ha area is needed to build the expressway. Land clearance tasks for the project construction are nearly completed.
The province has approved a compensation plan for the remaining 342 households and 10 organisations affected by the project in Xuân Lộc District. It aims to complete compensation payments and hand over all land for construction of the project in September.
In a related matter, a number of key transport projects in the province have been delayed due to land clearance problems.
The Dầu Giây Intersection project, for example, will reduce traffic congestion at the intersection between national highways No 1A and 20 in Thống Nhất District. But it has been delayed for more than two years.
Delays were caused partly by slow compensation payments to affected households, causing compensation and resettlement support costs to increase by more than 5 times compared to the original financial plan.
The cost has increased to VNĐ130 billion ($5.6 million) from VNĐ22 billion ($950,000).
The province’s People’s Committee has proposed that the Government direct the Ministry of Transport to work with relevant units to arrange capital sources to complete the intersection project.
Cao Tiến Dũng, chairman of the committee, said the province has asked all departments, branches and localities to make efforts to speed up site clearance and disbursement of funds.
It has set up a steering committee to create relevant procedures related to the projects, as well as monthly checks and monitoring of the projects’ progress so that problems can be solved promptly.
The leaders of the province are working with relevant agencies weekly to urge progress in land acquisition, compensation, resettlement and vocational training for locals affected by the projects.
The committee has told local authorities to prepare for the construction of resettlement areas. If the districts need capital, they will be allowed to advance investment capital to build the resettlement areas. — VNS