Authorities in Hanoi have decided to restart the project to remove hundreds of households from the Old Quarter which has been at a standstill for the past decade.
Thousands of people in the Old Quarter are living in super small houses
In 1998, Hanoi People's Committee launched the project to relocate people living in the Old Quarter to other settlement areas to reduce the population density from 823 people per hectare in 2010 to 500 people per hectare.
Up to 6,500 households with 27,000 people in Hoan Kiem District were to be relocated.
According to the plan, in the first phase, 1,530 households would be relocated from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2016. 5,000 households would be relocated in the second phase and the project was expected to be completed in 2020. However, the project has become a standstill.
Recently, Hanoi People's Committee asked Hoan Kiem authorities to restart the project and work with related parties to choose investors and complete procedures to build resettlement homes for the project in this fourth quarter.
Hoan Kiem authorities and the management board of the Old Quarter have reviewed the areas to build compensation policies for Dong Xuan, Hang Buom, Hang Dao, Hang Gai, Cua Dong, Hang Ma, Hang Bac, Hang Bo, Hang Bong and Ly Thai To.
When being asked why the project is behind schedule so much, Hanoi People's Council said ground clearance and compensation for the Old Quarter were very complicated.
Meanwhile, they don't have the approved prices for the resettlement homes.
Thousands of people in the Old Quarter are living in super small houses. Some houses in the Old Quarter are only two square metres.
73-year-old Chu Van Cao said he and his son had lived in such a house for 20 years.
The five-member family of Hoa lives in a 10-square-metre house which is located deep inside a small alleyway.
They have lived there since 1954 and opened a restaurant so they wouldn't know what to do if they are relocated.
"The land and house prices are expensive here. We can easily sell our houses for a huge sum of money and move somewhere else but the thing is what will we do for a living then," she said.
Some resettlement buildings in Thuong Thanh Ward, Long Bien District have basic constructions completed but the project has stalled for years.
Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep/Dtinews
Authorities in Hanoi have given the Old Quarter a new lick of paint and cleaner streets.
Hanoi has implemented a pilot program installing cameras to film people littering on the pedestrian mall around the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.