City meets with residents to discuss Thu Thiem site clearance dispute

May 10, 2018 | 10:05
As many as 50 residents in HCM City’s District 2 aired their grievances at a meeting held yesterday to discuss land reclamation and site clearance compensation for households that must move to make way for continued construction of the Thu Thiem new urban area in the district.
city meets with residents to discuss thu thiem site clearance dispute
A view of the Thu Thiem new urban area from downtown District 1. Covering a total area of 657 hectares, the area is set to become the largest inner-city development in Southeast Asia. Nearly 15,000 households in the area were resettled elsewhere to make way for construction of the new urban area. Photo tuoitre.vn

The meeting, conducted by the city’s National Assembly delegation, sought to seek better solutions for the affected residents.

Most of the residents pointed out that their homes and land are not located within the officially approved boundaries of the Thu Thiem new urban project, and that their land had been cleared illegally.

They also said that the site clearance compensation rate was too low.

Residents at the meeting brought documents as well as planning maps of the Thu Thiem new urban area.

The delegation from the HCM City National Assembly included Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Council; Phan Nguyen Nhu Khue, deputy head of the delegation; and Trinh Ngoc Thuy, deputy chief judge of the People’s Court of HCM City.

Le Thi Ngoc Nga of District 2 said: “We heard that the former chairman of the city people’s committee Vo Viet Thanh just showed the first approved planning map of Thu Thiem new urban area, the one the city has always said it cannot find. Now I hope our case will be resolved completely.”

Le Van Lung of Binh An Ward said he and others have said for many years that their land and houses are outside the borders of the Thu Thiem new urban project area.

He said he hoped the National Assembly members would ask the city to resettle the affected households whose land has been reclaimed to a 43-hectare area at the corner of Luong Dinh Cua and Tran Nao streets outside the project’s planned area.

“If it is not resolved as proposed, we want the Prime Minister to set up an inspection team to clarify the cases of the affected people who have complained for a long time, and give us a final solution,” Lung said.

Resident Le Thi Hong Van of Binh Khanh Ward said she had filed a complaint for 16 years about the same issue, sending 36 applications.

Another resident, Le Thi Bach Tuyet, said: “I was compensated only VNĐ18 million (US$790) per square metre for my land, which is now being sold again by the investor at VNĐ350 million ($15,360) per square metre.”

“I demand that the compensation rate be at least VNĐ50 million per square metre,” she added.

city meets with residents to discuss thu thiem site clearance dispute
Residents at the meeting brought documents as well as planning maps of the Thu Thiem new urban area. - VNA/VNS Photo Tien Luc

Resident Le Thi Ngoc Nga of Binh Khanh Ward complained that her house was reclaimed by District 2 authorities 10 years ago without a decision from the Government on land reclamation, and that it was based only on an internal decision from the city government.

“That act was unlawful. I demand that the municipal and district authorities show us the planning map of the ThủThiêm new urban area,” she said.

Resident Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet said: “When the authorities reclaimed my 3,780sq. m of land, they only compensated me VNĐ568 million in addition to VNĐ3 million only for my orchard garden.”

Each resident at the meeting was allowed to speak for five minutes, but many of them asked for more time.

Nguyen Phuoc Hung, chairman of District 2 People’s Committee, said, “Regarding the issue of whether the reclaimed land is located within the officially approved boundaries of the Thu Thiem new urban project, the district authorities cannot answer and will have to wait for the conclusion of the People’s Committee and the Government Inspectorate.”

Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Council, said all opinions from the residents, the National Assembly delegation, and National Assembly deputies will be reported fully to the Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee.

Tâm has asked the Secretary of the City Party Committee to organise a meeting of the Standing Committee of the City Party Committee to discuss all the related issues.

“The biggest issue that residents are most concerned about now is the legal status of the project. We have asked the city People’s Committee to review the whole project and report to the city Party Committee and the city People’s Council,” Tam said.

Tâm promised to continue to listen to residents and demanded that the city People’s Committee review the legal status of the entire Thu Thiem new urban area and report the results to all affected residents in a transparent and timely manner.

Covering a total area of 657ha, the Thu Thiem new urban area is located on Thu Thiem peninsula in HCM 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 Thu Thiem peninsula, with nearly 15,000 households already resettled.

More than 99 per cent of land in the proposed area has been cleared.

More than 100 households, however, have complained that their homes and land have been illegally cleared as they say they are not within the project’s approved boundaries under a decision made in 1996 by the then Prime Minister.

VNA

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