HCMC chairman sets deadline for Thu Thiem site clearance

Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong instructed the management board of Thu Thiem new urban area and relevant agencies to complete site clearance this year at a working session with the board on February 16th.

An artist's impresison of Thu Thiem new urban area, District 2, HCMC(Photo: SGGP)

Deputy head of the board Nguyen The Minh reported that site clearance has been stuck with 84 cases comprising three religious establishments. Compensation has met with difficulties because early last year the city’s inspectorate sent a document asking the board to solve petitions involving many people.
Therefore, the board has just mobilized to reclaim land from six cases. The low site clearance has affected citizens’ life as well as investor attraction, slowed construction progress, increased loan interest and resettlement housing management costs. That together with incomplete compensation in District 1 has been reasons for the behind schedule building of Thu Thiem 2 bridge. The bridge’s piles in the middle of the Saigon River have not been built because the wharf of Ba Son shipyard has not been removed.
So far, 150 land plots totaling 185 hectares at Thu Thiem new urban area has had investors and been implemented. Of these, 101 plots will be used for payment of Build-Transfer projects with the total value of VND32 trillion (US$1.41 billion), 24 plots for building public works with state budget without land use fee collection. Twenty five plots will be invested under the form of land delivery with land use fee collection expected to approximate VND8,061 billion ($354.04 million).
The remaining of 26 plots over 36 hectares is expected to bring VND11 trillion ($483.12 million) in land use fee. Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong asked the board to choose investors for these 26 land plots as per plan and instructions by the city Party Standing Committee. Relevant sides should synchronously manage infrastructures to connect Thu Thiem with District 2 and determine directions for the new urban area’s administrative management model and smart urban area management center from now.
The board consulted city leaders about solutions to handle unused resettlement housing fund. Loans for construction of Thu Thiem new urban area has topped VND16 trillion ($703 million) but the value of the remaining 26 land plots nears only VND11 trillion.
Meantime, the resettlement housing fund has been built with demand lower than supply providing a total of 10,529 apartments. Of these 4,903 have been built and transferred to District 2, of these only 3,296 apartments have been arranged for dwellers. The remaining unused apartments have put a burden on management and loan payment.

Mr. Phong says that the city will propose the Government to solve the unused apartments to prevent them from running downgraded and reclaim stagnant capital because the matter comes within the Government’s jurisdiction.
Projects have been approved and implemented in Thu Thiem new urban area comprise technical infrastructure for the 38.4 hectare resettlement area in Binh Khanh Ward, four main roads in the new urban area, a central square and riverside park, an eco-forestry park, an embankment along the Saigon River circling the new urban area, Thu Thiem 2 bridge, canal dredging and digging of a central lake and new canals.
All green tree parks have yet to have investors. The board’s leaders have auctioned land plot no 7-1 to build hotels and resorts which have so far attracted registration by eight large businesses.

By Luong Thien – Translated by Hai Mien

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