Hanoi Old Quarter threatened by high-rise construction

VietNamNet Bridge – High-rise construction increasingly threatens architecture and urban planning in the Old Quarter.


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High-rise construction increasingly threatens architecture and urban planning in the Old Quarter.– Photo giaoduc.net

The chairman of the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem District recently issued instructions to cut off buildings exceeding permitted height which violate regulations on architect and urban planning in the Old Quarter.

But after three months, the instructions are still being carried out at a snail’s pace.

According to Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, People’s committees of wards must take responsibility to implement the instructions. But so far, many construction projects violating the rules still exist.

The construction of a hotel on Hang Bong Street is one example. The chairman of the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem District decided to demolish the part of the construction which was not included in the construction licence. After much insistence on Hang Bong ward’s authority, the demolition plan was completed. But demolition was carried out at a snail’s pace.

Another example is a building on Ly Nam De Street. The building was forced to cut 3 floors which exceeded height requirements. But slow implementation of the decision has raised doubts among people about authority.

Pham Tuan Long, deputy chairman of Hoan Kiem People’s Committee, told the paper that “after receiving complaints about construction work violating rules, the committee carried several inspections and gave strict punishments to violations”.

“But most of the construction violations broke height rules. So demolition must be carefully monitored, so as to ensure safety for neighboring households,” Long said.

To deal with construction violations, last week the Hoan Kiem authority was forced to demolish or cut off 20 construction projects in Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Hang Bo, Trang Tien, Ly Thai To, Hang Buom, Cua Nam, and Tran Hung Dao wards.

Oversight failures

To protect architecture and urban planning in the Old Quarter, the Ha Noi’s People’s Committee issued regulations on granting construction licences in the area.

Under the regulations, investors must submit documents to the Hoan Kiem’s People’s Committee. The documents are evaluated by specialised agencies for approval.

"The process of licence granting is carried out very carefully," Long said.

But supervising investors has been neglected by ward authorities, which leads to violations. Most construction violations involve exceeding building height by 1-2 floors, compared to the licences granted.

“Many violations were rooted in failures of management oversight”, Long told the paper.

    
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