The proposal to fill up a part of Hanoi's Thanh Cong Lake to build apartment blocks has been strongly opposed.
A corner of Thanh Cong Lake
Viet Hung Urban Development And Investment Joint Stock Company made the proposal in order to build three more apartment buildings even though Thanh Cong Lake has already been surrounded by high-rise buildings and rows of villas near Thanh Cong Park.
Pham Thanh Tung from Vietnam Architect Association said there were many ways to renovate old apartment buildings so there was no need to encroach the lake. Thanh Cong Lake is a lung of the city. It helps collect rainwater and is an important part of the city's drainage system. It also makes the cityscape more beautiful and can't be wasted especially when the air quality in Hanoi has worsened.
"You can't fill up part of the lake to build apartments then start digging up somewhere else as compensation. That's not how things work. The proposal is impractical. The lake has its role," Tung said.
Pollution is a huge problem in Hanoi and has badly affected residents and socio-economic development. Many people said it was unreasonable to fill up part of the lake while everyone wants more lakes. Filling up lakes, canals and channels have caused flooding in many cities in Vietnam. Firms can propose but the authorities should not approve or exchange environment for economic development.
The proposal was made after Viet Hung Urban Development And Investment JSC was allocated to renovate the dilapidated Thanh Cong apartment building. Viet Hung suggested two solutions. In the second solution, they proposed to fill up a part of Thanh Cong Lake to build resettlement buildings for the residents. To offset the lost area, they will expand the lake and park toward the city's centre.
The proposal has been met with strong criticism from the public. The residents living near Thanh Cong Lake also raised concerns about pressure on the weak infrastructure if more apartment buildings are built in the area.
Each Hanoian should protect the living environment in general and the lake environment in particular with specific actions.
A man and his children in Hanoi have donated VND1.8bn (USD77,800) to clean up a polluted lake in their village and built a small public park.