|Sống Hoàng Resettlement Residential Area in Hoàng Mai District is abandoned for years due to a lack of infrastructure. — Photo ktdt.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Hundreds of urban residential areas have been built and put into operation in recent years, contributing to solving housing needs for people in the capital city of Hà Nội.
But even after the areas have been put into use, many residents here are frustrated with the lack important infrastructure features, such as roads, schools and meeting halls and local authorities are facing greater pressure to improve facilities.
Linh Đàm Urban Residential Area in Hoàng Mai District is one example.
This is the most densely populated project in the capital city, but the transport infrastructure lacks investment, leading to frequent congestion around this urban area.
“After 20 years of operation, traffic infrastructure, including roads and sidewalks, are seriously degraded,” Trịnh Văn Thành, an early resident in the area, told Kinh Tế & Đô Thị (Economic & Urban Affairs) newspaper.
In resettlement and social housing areas, the situation is even more serious. The transport network inside and outside the residential area still causes inconvenience for both residents and people in neighbouring areas.
Two 9-storey buildings with nearly 100 apartments at the Sống Hoàng Resettlement Area in Mai Động Ward of Hoàng Mai District were completed nearly 10 years ago, but remain a wasteland with few residents.
Nguyễn Văn Thuỷ, a resident in a neighbouring area, said this was because of a lack of infrastructure.
There was no sewage system and only a narrow road to the area. That’s why people did not want to move in, Thuỷ said.
These were two of several new urban residential areas lacking infrastructure facilities in Hà Nội.
This is a problem that needs a quick solution to stabilise the lives of residents as well as people around the project.
Pressure on local government
To solve the infrastructure issue, in recent years, Hà Nội has implemented a policy to assign the responsibility of building infrastructure to housing project investors.
Under the policy, after completing the infrastructure facilities, the investors are responsible for handing over the whole area to the authorities for operation and management, not just for residents living in these urban areas.
Despite the policy, there are still inadequacies and shortcomings.
Some investors did not comply with their responsibilities and commitments in building and completing infrastructure to hand over to the administration.
Since then, the pressure to resolve the arising issues has been increasingly placed on local authorities.
Hoàng Mai District’s vice chairman Đỗ Thanh Tùng said: “Due to the rapid urbanisation rate in the district, many apartment projects have been put into use causing main streets and some internal roads in urban areas and neighbouring residential areas to become congested, putting pressure on the urban infrastructure system.”
“Therefore, the district authority has focused on solving consequences of projects lacking roads, schools and cultural houses,” said Tùng.
In order to solve the immediate needs of the people, last year the district completed building a kindergarten and started construction of two primary and secondary schools in new urban areas, according to the vice chairman.
Regarding the construction and expansion of traffic routes to reduce congestion, the district was also actively implementing ground clearance and other measures such as limiting bus routes during rush hour, he added.
As a district with a rapid urbanisation rate, Thanh Xuân has seen many new apartment projects in recent years, leading to a large immigrant population and increasing number of students enrolled in public schools in the area.
Thanh Xuân District has had to spend a large amount on building, upgrading and repairing schools as well as purchasing teaching equipment.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the district put five new public schools into use, including two kindergartens, a primary school and two secondary schools.
According to experts, investors were too focused on developing real estate projects but did not invest properly in infrastructure.
It was time to admit that planning lacked a comprehensive overview, hindering infrastructure.
Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, vice president of the Việt Nam Urban Planning and Development Association, said approval of urban residential projects should be halted in cases where investors could not give adequate timetables for the completion of infrastructure.
It meant the construction progress of roads, schools and clinics must match that of apartments and houses, Nghiêm said.
Meanwhile, architect Phạm Thanh Tùng, from the Việt Nam Architects’ Association, said that the connection of traffic, drainage and wastewater treatment systems in urban areas with surrounding areas was very important in solving the inevitable needs of residents in terms of transport and other welfare issues.
However, the current urban infrastructure connectivity was lacking, said Tùng.
Therefore, the governing body from the local to central governments must deal with the issue of urban infrastructure.
“With the decision-making power of the management agency in planning, only one decision means traffic, education, and hospitals are connected. Then, urban areas would immediately become a large community,” the architect said. — VNS