The Government Inspectorate will announce the revised zoning boundaries of five adjacent quarters affected by the controversial Thu Thiem New Urban Area project in District 2, HCMC, ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year.
A bird’s eye view of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area project in District 2, HCMC. The revised boundaries of the project will be made known before the Tet holiday
The chief of the HCMC People’s Committee Office, Ha Phuoc Thang, revealed the timeline at a press briefing on the city’s socioeconomic performance for 2019 and its tasks for 2020, held in the city recently, reported the news website Enternews.
Thang said that Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh had a meeting last Saturday with the city government to address complaints from the large number of affected residents, including complaints about land in Thu Thiem.
Former land owners from the five quarters in the wards of An Khanh, Binh An and Binh Khanh in District 2 claimed that their plots of land were beyond the approved boundaries of the project but had been subject to unjust site clearance for project development in the late 1990s.
According to the official, the senior Cabinet leader had asked the Government Inspectorate, in collaboration with the municipal government and the concerned ministries and agencies, to hold a dialogue with the locals and release the zoning boundaries of the new township before Tet.
The dialogue should clarify whether the five quarters were inside the township, he remarked.
Also, the remaining issues involving compensation and land swaps for the 331 households in the 4.3-hectare area in Binh An Ward, whose plots of land were identified as being outside the boundaries, should be properly addressed by late March this year.
He explained that the city administration would later apply the support policy to the affected residents.
In October last year, the HCMC People’s Council issued a resolution approving the support policy.
The 331 households were previously compensated but had still complained about the city’s compensation policy. The Government Inspectorate had concluded that their complaints were valid, so the city continued to finance them, stated HCMC Vice Chairman Vo Van Hoan at the time.
The city will provide aid to the affected households based on the current land prices, not those set 10 years ago, to benefit the residents. Most of the affected households have agreed to the new policy.
The affected residents can choose to accept money, land lots or resettlement apartments. They can receive the aid in two ways: by returning the compensation they had received earlier and accepting the new total compensation based on the current market prices or by receiving additional compensation.
The Prime Minister approved a plan to develop the Thu Thiem new urban area project on 930 hectares of land on the Thu Thiem Peninsula in 1996. The site is located on the eastern side of the Saigon River, opposite the current central business district.
However, after 20 years of planning, more than 100 households are still lodging complaints and filing lawsuits, claiming their land lots were wrongfully taken.
The Government Inspectorate has twice publicized violations of the HCMC government and of multiple officials involved in the project’s execution and has asked the HCMC government to return to the State budget more than VND26.3 trillion (US$1.1 billion) as the city had failed to perform its due diligence in the investment process. SGT