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Greenery zoning causes problems for HCMC residents
By Le Anh
Thursday,  Dec 6, 2018,18:38 (GMT+7)

Greenery zoning causes problems for HCMC residents

By Le Anh

An area in Hiep Binh Chanh Ward of Thu Duc District, which is zoned for green space – PHOTO: LE ANH

HCMC – The planning of parkland and green spaces in HCMC is making life more difficult for local residents, as they are not allowed to change their land use purposes, a meeting of the municipal People’s Council heard today, December 6.

Deputy Pham Hieu Nghia of District 11 said many projects with plots of land allocated for parks and trees are slow to start, leading to a waste of land resources.

As the city council has issued a resolution on the settlement of delayed projects, Nghia questioned how many projects have been revoked and replaced.

In response, Nguyen Thanh Nha, director of the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture, said that within the scope of land planning, some areas are currently zoned for parks, trees, mixed residential areas, and new residential areas.

He added that mixed-use land is used to “soften” local planning, which depends on the circumstances and leaves room for future development.

This type of land is likely to be used for planting trees and creating public spaces but has not been detailed in zoning plans yet, he explained.

Therefore, his department is working with district-level governments to review and consider each area. He noted that if there were any inadequacies, land use purpose adjustments would be made to meet the needs of the locals.

Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said as many as 547 projects are to have their investments’ in-principle approval revoked, due to their long delays.

He added authorities have recently examined an additional 2,800 projects, and that 180 of them might be revoked as well.

During the process of acquiring land for projects, setting compensation rates is the most significant factor,  according to the director.

He stated that the city government has divided projects into three groups with four specific solutions to deal with this problem.

In terms of environmental issues, Deputy Le Nguyen Minh Quang, serving as head of the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways, asked for Hy Vong (hope) Canal in Tan Binh District to be upgraded to help improve drainage in the area surrounding Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

He also questioned whether the penalties applied for littering in public places would be imposed by the private sector or the management boards of residential quarters.

In response, Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, deputy director of the Steering Center of the HCMC Urban Flood Control Program, said that the municipal government was working with the World Bank.

However, borrowing loans from the global lender is challenging, so the city’s State budget will be used to finance the canal upgrade, which requires VND150 billion (US$6.4 million).

He also noted that the Tan Binh District authority is serving as the investor in the project. The municipal government will work with the district to speed up compensation, demolition and site clearance to make room for the project.

The head of the city’s environment authority, Thang, said grassroots governments have fined nearly 300 litterers, mostly those caught littering canals.

He said that the local government plans to publish the identities of the litterers.

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