The Hanoi People’s Committee’s decision to push forward with a 30 kilometre road between Hanoi’s centre and Ba Vi district has been met with public shock.
Previously in the draft masterplan to develop Hanoi to 2030 with a vision to 2050 the Ministry of Construction proposed to move the national administrative centre to Ba Vi district, around 50km from the current centre in Ba Dinh district in the heart of Hanoi. Simultaneously, a link called the West lake-Ba Vi axis would be built to connect the old and new centres.
However, controversy among architects, planning experts and associations regarding the movement of administrative centres led the National Assembly to reject the plan last May and it was thought that the fate of the new link would be the same.
In August this year, Hanoi Mayor Nguyen The Thao confirmed in a document sent to the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that if the new administrative centre was not moved to Ba Vi, then it was meaningless to set up the new road, because it could harm the proposed green corridor.
However, last week the decision turned and now the access road may be built anyway, connecting the West lake with Ba Vi.
The proposal was signed by Thao and sent to the State Committee for Appraisal of the Master Plan for approval. The proposal stated that the road should end at Dong Mo lake, at the foot of Ba Vi mountain.
The proposal was sent at the time the government was considering approving the draft master plan without these two proposals.
However, many disagree with the plan, including Dang Hung Vo, former deputy minister of natural resources and environment. Vo said that the construction was no longer necessary now that the administrative centre would not moved.
Vo added: “I think some investors own land near the roadway and have pressured the committee to move forward with construction.”
As a whole, the draft Master Plan to Develop Hanoi to 2030 with a Vision to 2050 has been hotly debated by local associations.
A week ago, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations sent a document to the Central Party Office to suggest delaying the approval of this plan. According to the union, the master plan is complex and large with complicated requirements spanning many different fields. And yet, the plan was completed by a foreign consultant over a short time, leaving many problems behind.
“Many issues have been left unsolved. Certain elements are unfeasible and unsuitable to Vietnamese’s circumstances and need to be studied further to avoid negative consequences,” the document reads.
“This master plan must be carefully researched and studied before any decision is issued because it will directly impact the whole community and it could raise many problems with land, projects, environmental conditions, culture and community livelihood.”
VUSTA is also against the proposal for the link between West lake and Ba Vi. “Hanoi is currently focused on finishing the expansion of Thang Long boulevard and Highway 32, and it also plans to set up a railway linking Lang and Hoa Lac. All of these roads will make a transport system to fully meet the area’s demand,” it said.
By Bich Ngoc (Vietnam Investment Review)