VietNamNet Bridge –A provincial People's Committee representative has condemned the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism for failing to address decaying houses in Ha Giang's Old Quarter.

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Speaking at an urgent meeting convened this week, the individual blasted the Department's efforts as slow and irresponsible.

Residents have been calling for an immediate assessment of buildings in the area and the removal of ‘relic' status that prevents residents from conducting their own repairs.

They took the opportunity to call for greater coordination between the Ha Giang Culture, Sports and Tourism Department and relevant bodies to assess the state of buildings in Dong Van Old Quarter.

According to the head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Cultural Heritage Department, Nguyen The Hung, funding for the preservation of Dong Van Old Quarter was currently being assessed.

"In a meeting with local authorities in January, culture minister Hoang Tuan Anh asked the province to carry out a project to amend and preserve the Dong Van relics. The project was sent to the Cultural Heritage Department for assessment mid this month," he said.

Hung also said funding for repairs would need to be prioritised.

"We prioritise structures that are most seriously degraded, especially in which local residents are living. The ministry intended to funnel at least VND3-4 billion (US$142,000 – $190,000) into fixing these houses. This amount is part of the tens of billion of dong projected for the whole area."

Although he said he hadn't received any direct requests from local residents, authorities would work with local residents to facilitate the repairs once approval had been given, he said.

"The restoration and preservation requires certain time and ‘investment' not only from the State but also from the local community."

Source: VNS